Manna Meal prepares holiday feast for those in need

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — One non-profit in Charleston feeds the hungry community two hot meals every day. But on Christmas Day, the meal had a little more meaning.

“I made sure they were getting fed a good hot meal,” said Head Chef and Operations Manager at Manna Meal Jesse Belcher. “It was pretty cold last night.”

Manna Meal chef cooks up holiday feast.

The team at Manna Meal prepared ham, sweet potato casserole, green beans, fried apples and hot rolls.

As those with nowhere else to go savored the food there was a crew in the kitchen packing up meals to go.

“We just wanted it to be kind of like a home cooked meal,” Belcher said. “We wanted to load it up and give them an extra heavy portion and wanted them to leave here with a full stomach and a little bit of nostaglia.”

People were able to come inside and eat in the warmth while following COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Those involved with preparing and serving the meals said there is nowhere they’d rather be on Christmas Day.

“It just warms your heart. It reminds you of the good in the world. It reminds you of what is important,” said Manna Meal Executive Director Amy Wolfe.

This year Manna Meal had to suspend volunteer programs because of COVID-19. That made it a little more challenging to prepare the Christmas meal. They are looking forward to welcoming volunteers back in the future.

There will be a warming center open Christmas night at the Salvation Army in Charleston on Tennessee Avenue from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. Saturday.

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