VIDEO: Oakland restaurant, churches spread holiday cheer with free Christmas brunch

OAKLAND (KRON) — A collaboration of churches and an Oakland restaurant provided free Christmas meals for people in need this morning.

KRON4’s Spencer Blake was there in Jack London Square, as stomachs, and hearts, were filled.

He says for the last five years, Home of Chicken and Waffles has cooked a free Christmas brunch for anyone who needs it.

“We don’t just say homeless,” Pastor Brondon Reems said. “Whoever would like to eat! Some people just need fellowship. Some people don’t have family in the area. We invite them to come down and be with us,” he said.

Pastor Reems parish, Center of Hope Community Church, and seven other churches spread the word through social media, and with flyers in homeless encampments.

He says while preaching from a pulpit is great, the real ministry lies in spreading the love of God by serving others.

Restaurant owner Derreck Johnson is a member of Pastor Reems’ congregation, and welcomes hungry people into his business in honor of his late mother, whose birthday was on Christmas.

He hopes the plates of three different meats, rice, veggies, and peach cobbler are a treat for people who often eat at shelters.

“People that usually don’t go to restaurants, to be able to come to a restaurant, eat, feel comfortable, feel what it’s like to get served and people wait on them for a change,” Johnson said.

The busy kitchen served around 300 meals this Christmas, including some to-go boxes for people who couldn’t make it in.

“It’s good to have something like this for the homeless because otherwise they have nobody.”

About 50 volunteers showed up to cook, serve, and spread an abundance of holiday cheer.

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