UPDATE: Waterloo Salvation Army will serve a Christmas meal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Waterloo Salvation Army will serve a Christmas meal

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Officials with the Salvation Army in Waterloo now say they will hold the Christmas Day meal this year. This comes after officials say they received an overwhelming amount of support from the community.

“Our previous decision was based on a decline in those attending, indicating a lack of need. With such an outpouring of support by the community we will continue to meet those needs,” said Major Jose Tamayo.

The meals will be held at 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Christmas Day.
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The Salvation Army in Waterloo announced they will not be serving a Christmas Day meal this year.

On Wednesday, Mary Moore and the volunteers at the Salvation Army prepared their normal meal.

"Today we have turkey burgers, french fries and peas," said Moore. 

Moore started working at the Salvation Army as the kitchen supervisor three years ago.

She says the need for a hot meal is more than ever now. That's why, each year, she enjoys preparing food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

"I know then that gives everybody a chance to have a holiday meal, come somewhere and socialize," said Moore.

The Salvation Army started serving a Christmas Day meal in 2008.

Sue Hennings, Salvation Army development director, says last year they only had 50 people show up for Christmas dinner, and that included the volunteer.

She says they also feel they are getting too busy before Christmas.

"But we feel that we provide so much prior to the Christmas meal that it's really nice for us as a staff to be able to be home and be with our families that day too," said Hennings.

Moore worries about the patrons.

"It's kind of sad because a lot of people are lonely that time of year because they don't have a companion or family," said Moore.

Hennings says if someone needs a meal for Christmas, they can still help you out. She says they will be handing out more than 1,200 Christmas baskets with food to make a meal.

The baskets will include a full Christmas day meal, along with cereal, a $10.00 gift certificate to Hy-vee for eggs, butter, milk, and what ever is needed. The food box contains vegetables, potatoes, pie filling, crust, cake mix, stuffing, a turkey, or ham that can be cooked either on Christmas Day, or perhaps Christmas Eve.  Those interested may sign up at the Salvation Army.

For more information, call 319-235-9358.

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