Volunteers provide holiday dinner for needy families

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Students teamed up with the Crossroads Urban Center to provide the makings for holiday dinner to some of Salt Lake's needy residents.

Volunteers at Rowland Hall School, 850 S. 900 East, began distributing food bags to about 1,400 families Thursday morning. The bags contain everything from cranberry sauce to rolls, pies and a turkey or a ham.

Volunteers provide holiday dinner for needy families

It's been a tough year for a lot of people, including Jerry Armijo, who's been looking for a job. He says he's grateful for the help so he and his family can enjoy Christmas dinner together.

"The economy is real slow right now. I'm looking for a job. I know all kinds of trades in the work field but it's kind of hard for a single dad and mom to raise four kids, so this is where we come," he explained.

Michaela Hori, an 11th grader at Rowland Hall, said, "It's what Christmas is all about, helping out and volunteering."

The event is a 16-year tradition for students and alumni. They sorted and bagged groceries and handed them to people streaming through the school's dining hall. Several organizations-- such as the Utah Food Bank, the B.W. Bastian Foundation, Crossroads Urban Center and local religious groups-- donated the food.

Gov. Gary Herbert and his son helped hand out turkeys. Herbert says he hopes all Utahns will find ways this season to help others.

"All of us have needed help. Sometime in our lives somebody has stepped up and helped us out. So, I consider it a privilege for me to be here, to be able to help," the governor said.

Organizers said people who show up to the school need to bring ID for everyone in their family. The holiday food give-away was scheduled to end at 3:30 or until the food was gone.

E-mail: aforester@ksl.com

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