Despite the foggy weather, thousands of people found their way to the Georgia World Congress Center on Christmas Day for the 43rd annual Hosea Feed The Hungry event.
The lines to get in were long, full of people with empty stomachs.
Dwight Shaw was one of the many people who showed up to eat.
"This event means the world to me," said Shaw.
Mary Engram couldn't agree more.
"It makes me feel real good. It's one less meal I have to cook at home," said Engram.
But those eating weren't the only ones enjoying it.
Debra Field has been volunteering at the event for years. "I just love the festiveness of it and feeling like I'm doing something for someone else. It's just great," said Field.
And the food is just the beginning. There are free haircuts, free clothes, even free hugs. Then of course the big one with the kids - free toys.
Young Faith Scott's face lit up as she went through her bag full of toys. "It's the best because at the other Christmases I didn't get any presents," said Scott.
And after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the kids' smiling faces are extra important this year.
Elisabeth Omilami is the CEO of Hosea Feed The Hungry. "We want to do something to help and to honor them. The best way we can honor them is to make sure there's a smile on the face of as many children here in Atlanta as possible," said Omilami.
And perhaps the most important part of this event is it brings people together.
I love being around real people. Real people," said Shaw.
"When these children come here and sit at that table with their families, they think it's a party for them. They don't know anything other than that," said Omilami.
Organizers said the ultimate wish is to not have to have this event at all, but until that day comes they'll be ready to help out those in need.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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