Hosea Helps continuing tradition of giving out thousands of Christmas meals

People line up for the annual Hosea Helps Thanksgiving meal distribution outside the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, November 26, 2020. The Christmas giveaway event will be drive-thru. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
People line up for the annual Hosea Helps Thanksgiving meal distribution outside the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, November 26, 2020. The Christmas giveaway event will be drive-thru. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Hosea Helps is continuing its beloved holiday tradition of giving out thousands of meals to families before Christmas.

The nonprofit, formerly called Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless, plans to distribute about 2,000 meals at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday — Christmas Eve.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., about 200 volunteers will give out food boxes that include a turkey, a chicken and sides, voting information and masks. From 2 to 5 p.m., families can pick up food boxes as well as toys for children, said Hosea Helps CEO Elisabeth Omilami, the daughter of the late civil rights activist Hosea Williams.

ExploreHosea Helps continuing beloved holiday meal events despite coronavirus

The event will be outside and drive-thru this year because of the pandemic. The food is first-come, first-served, but families are encouraged to pre-register online for the toys, which are for children 12 years and younger.

Hosea Helps also plans to give out about 1,200 sandwich bags to the homeless; volunteers will distribute them Thursday at the GWCC, local shelters and homeless encampments.

The nonprofit is also seeking donations to provide gift cards to 250 local teens. You can donate online or via Cash App at $HoseaHelps.

The weather forecast for Thursday calls for rain, but Omilami said that won’t change the group’s plans.

“We’ll have on ponchos,” she said. “We’re just going to keep serving.”

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