KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) Hundreds of Central Texas military families were able to get a free holiday meal kit on Sunday thanks to Operation Homefront.
From the line outside to a packed conference room at Shiloh Inns in Killeen, military families picked up their meal kits filled with all of the fixings. The kits also included a gift card to pick up other supplies.
"I love the idea of being able to give back and a little bit of a thank you," said Rebekah Reyes, program coordinator for Operation Homefront.
Recently, Operation Homefront celebrated serving its 400,000th military family member.
"We, as military spouses, do have hardships and sometimes struggle. It's just nice to know that the community can support you and help out during the times and especially the holidays," Latosha Morris said.
In total, 500 meals were given out to families, which was a huge relief for everyone.
"Really nice to know there's organizations and groups and people out there looking to do a little something extra for us who have to sometimes work during this time of year, especially overseas and away from our families," said Sgt. Jennifer Davila, who is stationed at Fort Hood.
For the kids, Santa Claus and his elf gave out early Christmas gifts.
"I know everyone struggles a little bit during this time of year. So, it's a little extra help now saying 'hey we got you for dinner, go out and buy that extra gift or pay that bill," Reyes said.
For Alan Cowden, a Navy veteran, Sunday's event was welcomed.
"It makes me feel like, how do I want to say it, like my service was appreciated," Cowden said.
In order to receive a holiday meal kit, families must register on Operation Homefront's website. The meals are distributed across the country with help from local partners.