Nearly 500 people enjoy free Christmas dinner in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Nearly 500 people enjoy free Christmas dinner in Waterloo

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

For many, Christmas is a day to spend with family and friends around the dinner table.

But for some Eastern Iowans, the holidays can be a tough reminder of some already hard times.

Nearly 500 people enjoyed a free Christmas dinner on Tuesday at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Waterloo.

"If they weren't here having this dinner, we would be alone," said Dean Smith of Waterloo.

Smith has been attending the free Christmas dinner for more than 30-years.

"Words could not really express what I have in my heart. It just means so much," he said.

Bob Brown organized the Christmas dinner with his wife.

"I have such a passion for this," he said, adding that he gets more out of the program than the folks receiving the free meal.

Rebecca Varnold and her 9-year old son volunteered to help make sure folks got what they needed.

"We were just looking for a good opportunity to get involved in the community," she said.

"I want him to learn to volunteer and serve our community, and this is a good place to start," Varnold said.

Tuesday marked the 32nd year for the free Christmas dinner. Westminster Presbyterian Church paid for the food catered from Hy-Vee.

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