BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Members of the Franciscan Center are planning to pull an all-nighter Wednesday night to feed the homeless and essential workers who will be on the job on Christmas Eve.

The non-profit packed up meals for thousands of Baltimoreans as part of its first-ever “Serving Round The Clock” meal marathon. They plan to serve more than 2,500 meals in 24 hours, with some of the food made by chefs from city restaurants.

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“As a nation, we can maybe see a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel, (but) there’s still a lot of pain in our communities and I felt like this is something that we need, “Jeffrey Griffin, the group’s executive director, said.

The meals will be delivered to homeless encampments, offered at a tent and delivered to police officers and hospital workers overnight.

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“Christmas is about hope,” Griffin said. “It’s about what’s possible, and I think that we want to show that.”

Steven Allbright, the center’s culinary director, said serving as many people as they will despite the COVID-19 pandemic “is one of the most amazing things I could ever believe.”

“We want to feed the first responders simply because of the amazing jobs that they’re doing,” he said. “It’s Christmas in this crazy year of 2020. It’s our way of saying thank you for what you do.”

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The giving won’t stop after Christmas. The group plans to continue to give away meals until March 1.

Stetson Miller