LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of needy families received free meals and toys Thursday during an annual Christmas Eve celebration hosted by the Los Angeles Mission.

Food preparation began at 4:30 a.m. inside of the Los Angeles Mission Kitchen, located at 303 E. 5th Street near the corner of Fifth and Wall streets.

(credit: CBS) Breakfast was served to overnight guests who waited in line.

Starting at 11 a.m., hundreds of volunteers, including celebrities, served 3,000 meals to those who were in attendance, event coordinators said.

Santa distributed wrapped gifts to children and hygiene kits were passed out to adults.

Generous donations were made by sponsors Toyota and Nestlé to help provide a memorable day for the public.

The feast, which offers relief for families and children living on Skid Row, will conclude at 3 p.m., officials said.

The menu for this year’s gourmet meal was prepared by Chef Ben Ford.

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