Salvation Army will feed 8,000 during 29th annual Christmas Family Feast

MILWAUKEE -- The Salvation Army will host its 29th annual Christmas Family Feast on Tuesday, Dec. 25, and it takes an army of volunteers to put it on.

Inside boxes lining the halls of the Wisconsin Center Wednesday, Dec. 19 was the food needed to put on the feast.

"Twenty-six thousand pounds of turkey, 1,600 pounds of ham, 40 cases of green beans, 40 cases of yams -- which is pretty much a pallet of each," said Robert Ilk, lead chef.

Most of the food is donated by organizations like Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

"This is what we do every day. The fact that we have a strong partner like the Salvation Army and we can reach nearly 8,000 in one day -- that's significant," said Rayna Andrews, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

Rayna Andrews

A total of 1,400 Salvation Army volunteers would prepare the meal and serve it on Christmas Day. Their work began as soon as the food came off the truck.

"You really get to be organized and get things into sequence and order," said Ilk.

Cooking was set to begin Friday, Dec. 21 and continue right up to Christmas morning.

"You are really uplifted by the volunteers. They come in with no issues. They are here to help. They understand the significance of what we are doing," said Ilk.

Together, they would feed nearly 8,000 people on Christmas Day -- making the holiday truly happy for families in need.

"Food is synonymous with people coming together and enjoying and celebrating, and no person should go hungry," said Andrews.

"Working with people -- serving people -- that's what it's all about," Ilk said.

If you would like to volunteer at the Salvation Army Christmas Family Feast, CLICK HERE.