Salvation Army volunteers prep for Christmas dinner

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Gearing up for their biggest meal of the year, 1,400 Salvation Army volunteers prepare to serve Christmas meals at the Phoenix Convention Center tomorrow.

"I think we spend a lot of time focusing on ourselves a lot, so it's nice to kind of just not even worry about anything else, bills and daily routines and just go out there and kind of give back to the community," Ariana Martinez Leon said.

Behind-the-scenes, volunteers are getting a head start on a fest made with love and holiday cheer to feed five times what the Salvation Army typically sees all year.

"Christmas, we quadruple in number almost, but we see that more families, more individuals... they want to have a place to come on Christmas, so the prep takes a couple more days just because we're serving 5,000 in house and we send out 2,500 homebound meals," Danielle Shankle said.

What's on the menu are the holiday favorites, like turkey, stuffing, gravy, vegetables, cranberry sauce and pie for dessert.

"It takes all of these volunteers, each position, to be able to put everything together to be able to plate everything in the morning when we start plating food," Shankle said.

Aside from getting a Christmas meal, every family will leave with a goodie bag of food to take home, and every child takes home a toy.