YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Members of the Youngstown Community Food Center began bringing in food Saturday to St. Patrick Church in Youngstown for their annual Christmas dinner.
The US Department of Agriculture says more than 40 million people in the country do not have enough food, meaning many people across the states will go hungry over the holiday.
“It just gives me goosebumps,” said Joseph Lordi of the Youngstown Community Food Center. “I mean, I know where they are at.”
Lordi started the Youngstown Community Food Center 29 years ago.
He lost his job, foreclosed his home and went on welfare.
Now, he provides food for hundreds of people weekly — and a meal to those in need every Christmas.
“It’s very gratifying,” Lordi said. “You have to see it to understand what I’m talking about.”
Lordi says 60 people attended his first Christmas dinner. Now, almost 300 people show up on average.
“Each year it kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and the gratitude was just unbelievable,” Lordi said.
A choir sang “O, Holy Night” to the many people at the Warren Family Mission’s Christmas dinner Saturday afternoon.
This is the 19th year in a row the Mission has provided free food during the holiday. They served about 2,870 meals.
“So, for some to come down here and just to feel special and to feel a part of something — just have fellowship with another person through that meal — can mean the world to somebody,” said Dominic Mararri of the Warren Family Mission.