Upwards of 400 people came out to enjoy a special Christmas meal in Winkler Monday night.
The meal served by volunteers of Central Station's Cafe 545 was an extension of the regular Monday night community meal. "This meal is just our way of saying to the people of our community that you are special, and we wanted to love on them even more than we do on a regular basis," says volunteer Coordinator, Marian Hildebrand.
The weekly community meal is for anyone and is a place where people can come and network with the people around them, and Hildebrand says sometimes we all need a place to go.
"We all have a need. The need might be a financial need, it might be a social need ... You might be late for work, or running late for getting your kids to soccer practice and you don't have time to make a meal, so you can come on down, and have a plate of food."
Hildebrand says she's been overwhelmed and blessed by people's generosity, the generosity of their time, food that's been donated, and monetary donations. "I've really never seen so many people willing to give of their time and their money. I also pray that we in return, were able to bless the people that came through the door for tonight's meal, and that they would feel the love of God upon them."
On average each week, Hildebrand says they usually serve between 230 to 250 people during the weekly meal. The free community dinner is held at Central Station every Monday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.