Hundreds of people poured into a Bartlesville church on Christmas day for the 17th annual Friends in Deed Christmas lunch.
Head chef Rita McDonald has been preparing that lunch for almost two decades, and she's got it down to an art.
"We come in early, like six in the morning!" she said.
Close to a hundred people volunteer every year; even Oklahoma's Own Joseph Holloway was there!
Organizers said this is no cafeteria meal; once a year, every year, they open up the most festive restaurant in town.
"The people come in, are seated, and the servers go get the food for them," organizer George Halkiades said. "We serve it on real China, not on paper plates!"
Halkiades has been here since the beginning, just like McDonald.
"It slowly increases every year," Halkiades said. "We're hoping one year we'll get up to a thousand!"
They keep track of how many people show up by counting the plates but even more important than the numbers are the smiles this community meal brings to the table.
"We want to continue this forever," Halkiades said. "As long as there are people who are home alone, you know, we want them to be able to have a meal and have a good time."
"Helping people is our goal," McDonald said. "Serving people."
Organizers are already planning for Christmas 2020, and they're always looking for donations to help make the lunch happen. To find out how you can help or volunteer, call (918) 914-1152.