KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — While many wake up and open gifts on Christmas Day, others are packing up meals for seniors living in Knox County.
“We got 70 routes going out today and into our community,” said Judith Pelot, the Director of Nutrition with Mobile Meals. “We got 643 clients.”
Knox County Community Action Committee Mobile Meals is celebrating 50 years of serving the community, including on the holidays.
“We start thinking about Christmas on October 1st,” she added. “Everyone gets a gift. So our community is very generous and people bring in gifts, and so we work on getting gifts first.”
Hundreds of gifts and food coolers are packed up and ready to be delivered by volunteers who take time out of their Christmas morning to help others.
“We’ve been doing this for a number of years,” said Fred Heitman who delivered meals. “We come out every Christmas. It’s our tradition. After we have our Christmas, we come out and deliver mobile meals so the people who do that every day, they can have a break.”
It’s a tradition for Fred Heitman and Kathy Sergeant that touches the hearts of many.
Sergeant said, “It means so much. It’s not even so much the meal, it’s that it’s a friendly face, somebody bringing them a little something, and we’re always getting invited into the house.”
Leonard Lamb and his wife have been delivering meals for eight years.
“It makes you feel good,” he said.
Lamb added that he just gathers the bags while his wife hands them out. Their outreach goes beyond the holidays,
“She [his wife] knows all them because we deliver on Tuesdays, too.”
It’s a reminder to check on your neighbors this holiday season. Some may be happy to open gifts this season, while others just want to open their doors to a smiling face and a warm meal.
“The need is pretty great in our community, but I’m amazed every year about how many [people] step up to fulfill that need,” said Judith Pelot.