LOCAL NEWS

More than1,000 Utah families in need given Christmas dinner and gifts

Dec 23, 2023, 6:15 PM | Updated: 6:19 pm

Nine hundred turkeys were given out by Crossroads Urban Center for families to have Christmas dinne...

Nine hundred turkeys were given out by Crossroads Urban Center for families to have Christmas dinner. The last turkey was handed out around around 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning. (Kaigan Bigler, KSL.com)

(Kaigan Bigler, KSL.com)

SALT LAKE CITY — Cars lined up around the block on Lincoln Avenue in Salt Lake City on Saturday as volunteers handed out 900 turkeys to families in need, and the Ogden Rescue Mission fed hundreds of homeless people at a lunch banquet.

Crossroads Urban Center

Crossroads Urban Center has been providing Christmas dinners in partnership with Rowland Hall, a pre-kindergarten through 12th grade school, for decades. This holiday season saw the most dinner kits they’ve ever handed out.

The turkeys are left over from the center’s Thanksgiving food giveaway, then combined with meal donations from the Utah Food Bank and Harmon’s grocery store and produce purchased by Crossroads.

The dinners contain turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes and produce, according to Rowland Hall director of ethical education Ryan Hoglund.

Crossroads community involvement director Erika Gee said, “(It’s) to make a meal so people have something to enjoy with their Christmas. … Holidays are already a stressful time. If you don’t really have the funds or the means to be able to celebrate, we just want to take that burden off of people.”

A good reminder

The drive opened at about 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, and though it was slated to go until 2 p.m., all 900 turkeys were gone by 11:30 a.m.

“It’s just a good reminder of the season of just how great the need is in the community, and just how important it is to support your local food pantries and food bank,” Hoglund said. He added that volunteers bring hygiene kits to give away with the dinners.

“In a season where a holiday sometimes feels like it’s gone a little to the material side, (it’s) a reminder (that) it’s about building community, it’s about coming together and being each other’s keeper,” Hoglund said.

One volunteer, Patsy Simons, has been volunteering at the annual Christmas food giveaway for 10 years. She said she does it because of the smiles on the faces of those receiving the food.

For those unable to get a Christmas dinner kit or turkey from the giveaway, Hoglund and Gee both encouraged those in need to visit Crossroads Urban Center and the Utah Food Bank.

Ogden Rescue Mission

The Ogden Rescue Mission is in its fifth year of holding holiday banquets for the homeless, serving over 400 meals for lunch on Saturday with more to hand out for dinner later in the evening.

On Friday night, the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake held a banquet that handed out about 1,113 meals, feeding visitors to the Rescue Mission as well as members of homeless camps where volunteers brought food.

“The holiday season, and especially Christmas, is very difficult for the homeless community. … With us hosting these Christmas banquets, we’re trying to demonstrate that we care about … our homeless friends, … that we want them to celebrate Christmas, that they’re human beings, that they have dignity, and that instills hope in them,” Rescue Mission of Salt Lake executive director Chris Croswhite said.

Croswhite said a lot of the help they offer at Christmastime is to give hope to the homeless community, including parents and children — providing over 150 children with Christmas gifts between Wednesday and Friday.

Along with food, the banquet also offered anyone attending options for free warm clothing and coats.

For anyone who wants to help the homeless, both Rescue Missions offer “Help cards” that can be ordered through their website that can be handed out to those who appear to be in need or are panhandling. The cards direct those needing help to seek out the Ogden or Salt Lake Rescue Mission.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Matt Gephardt speaking to Thelissa Mead about Hyundai not responding to her claims and getting her ...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps Utah Hyundai owner seeking reimbursement for overestimated fuel economy

A major automaker was accused of saying their cars get better mileage than they really do, And they promised to pay their customers back. But when one Utah customer wasn't, she decided to Get Gephardt.

1 hour ago

Five pharmacists from  Smith’s Food and Drug were given awards for saving a man's life. (Andrew A...

Andrew Adams

Smith’s workers recognized by Sandy City for helping to save a life

Five pharmacists at Smith’s Food and Drug, 2039 E. 9400 South, were recognized by Sandy City for helping to save a man’s life.

1 hour ago

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Michael Houck

Police: Motorcyclist found with ‘fresh blood on his face’ after allegedly shooting another driver

A motorcyclist allegedly followed a car after a physical fight and shot at the car's driver multiple times before fleeing the scene, police say.

2 hours ago

A family was safe after their Springville home caught fire Thursday. (Springville Fire and Rescue)...

Carlysle Price

Springville family displaced after house fire

 A mom and her two children were safe but displaced after their Springville home caught fire Thursday near 300 East.

2 hours ago

(KSL TV)...

Gitanjali Poonia, Deseret News

Owens leads legislation to rename Santaquin post office in honor of fallen officer

Utah Rep. Burgess Owens introduced legislation Wednesday to rename the Santaquin post office at 20 W. Main in honor of Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Dean Hooser, who was killed on May 5.

3 hours ago

The garage on fire near 9100 S Hummingbird Lane....

Logan Stefanich, KSL.com

‘We don’t want to get hit by a bullet’: Crews respond to Sandy fire containing ammo, gunpowder

A detached garage containing raw gunpowder and a "significant amount" of ammunition caught fire in Sandy on Thursday, leading to a hazardous situation for responding firefighters.

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

More than1,000 Utah families in need given Christmas dinner and gifts