CHRISTMAS came early for more than 2000 struggling families in Ellenbrook last week, when the Ellenbrook and Oldridge Community Meal Kitchen handed out thousands of gifts.
The kitchen had its last food service for the year on Friday and made it a special one, with gifts for every man, woman and child.
Founder of the group and head chef Lorraine Oldridge said it was overwhelming to see so many people turn up and the looks on their faces when they received a gift.
“We handed out 2000 meals and gifts for every man, woman and child, with extra gifts for the parents to put under the tree,” she said.
“All the gifts were donated brand new by the community, with gifts suited to men, women and children of all ages.”
Ms Oldridge said she had been collecting the gifts since June and wanted to make sure everyone had a special Christmas.
“The first family we let in to collect food and presents were a family affected by domestic violence,” she said.
“I had never seen the children smile or talk, but when they saw the gifts their faces lit up and they were jumping up and down, and they just acted like normal, happy children.
“I had to walk away because I got quite emotional.”
The meal kitchen was founded earlier this year, with Ms Oldridge inspired to stamp out hunger in the suburb.
“No one in this State should be going hungry,” she said.
“The Ellenbrook community have come together to ensure we can continue to do this, and they continue to surprise me each week.
“The volunteers work so hard to make it all happen.”
The Ellenbrook and Oldridge Community Meal Kitchen will have a short break from service and will be back from January 12.