SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Brenda Hurtado has been handing out meals at American Legion for 21 years, and she said she hasn't missed a year.
"It's very rewarding and it makes me happy," Hurtado said. "Some folks that come don't have family. They get seated with other people. They make friends. They get to enjoy the fellowship of other people."
Hurtado was 16 years old when volunteer and veteran Tony Virrueta reached out and asked her for help. "Tony [Virrueta] said, 'Hey what are you doing for Thanksgiving? You want to come out and volunteer? I said sure, and I've been doing it ever since."
Every year, American Legion Post 31 serves hundreds of meals to those who need it most.
"We've been doing this for for over 20 years at the American Legion. We pay for everything, we do a full meal," said Tony Virrueta, a volunteer at American Legion and an active member in the veteran community in Salinas. He's been Chairman for the Veteran's Day Parade.
This year the planned to serve 500 meals.
"We just want there to be a scene of family," Tony Virrueta said.