As Becky Anderson waited in line at the Carson Valley Community Food Closet on Thursday to receive her Christmas dinner, she was filled with hope.
"With it being Christ's birthday and everything, it brings new hope for a better year," the Indian Hills resident said. "Everybody's so nice here. It's the best community to live in. As soon as we're on our feet we're going to be donating our time."
She also had encouraging words for others struggling this time of year.
"I pray the entire community has a wonderful Christmas and new year no matter what their situation is," Anderson said. "There is light at the end of all tunnels as long as you're looking for it."
The food closet had more than 500 families signed up to receive a Christmas dinner box.
"I hope knowing they're getting a Christmas dinner is one less thing they have to worry about when going through tough times," said Tina Tubridy, food closet director. "Food and family is what the holidays are about for most people. Christmas distribution is a great way to finish the year, and really inspires us going into the new year."
Douglas County Sheriff's Mounted Posse member Rachel Merino, 22, has helped with distribution day since she was 14 years old.
"It's fun for me. I like to help and see all the families," she said. "Every family has certain food traditions, and I like to see that they get it. I like to see them smile."
Volunteer Cindy Phelps has been on the receiving side before, so being able to give meant a lot to her.
"I tell them Merry Christmas and smile at them. We see people come through the line this year that were donating last year," the Minden resident said. "I've had tough times. It's not easy asking for help. It's tough times right now, and I'm fortunate to be on this side of the table and help them."
Gardnerville Ranchos resident Lisa Johnson was appreciative of what the food closet provides.
"I appreciate it. They give you quite a bit. Hopefully, I'll be back on my feet soon," she said. "It's freezing today and I'm glad it's not snowing, but it's worth it."