DES MOINES, Iowa — Christmas is about the spirit of giving, and several organizations in Des Moines heeded that call by opening their doors and kitchens to the people who needed it most.

Hope Ministries continued its long-running tradition of feeding the hungry on Christmas Day. The organization delivered more than two thousand meals across the metro and several more came into the Bethel Mission to eat in person.

“This is totally the meaning of Christmas for me,” said Kathy Coady, Hope Ministries’ community relations director. “For us at Hope Ministries, we often say that hope begins with a meal.”

A new holiday tradition to fight hunger kicked off a mile down University Avenue from Hope Ministries’ headquarters.

The Association of Youth Development and Enrichment (AYDE) partnered with Cie Cie’s Sweet Things and Kitchen Spaces to cook a fresh soul food buffet in the Drake neighborhood.

“We’ve got greens, dressing, mac and cheese..a lot of people took the food home for their families,” said Tony Bell of AYDE. “A good meal can put a big smile on people’s faces.”

Bell said his organization is already planning to bring back the free soul food next Christmas.

“It’s a great feeling to give back to the community, especially since I’m born and raised in Iowa,” Bell said. “That’s what we came to do, to give them food and help them have a good Christmas.”