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Operation Homefront to feed area military families
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On Saturday, 300 military families will receive holiday meals and cheer.

Operation Homefront, a national organization that provides support for military families through various programs, will distribute holiday meals to preregistered families from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the City Center through its Holiday Meals for Military program.

The organization has done its holiday-meal distribution closer to Fort Stewart before, but wanted to get a little closer to Hunter Army Airfield this time around, said Charlotte Merriam, director of programs with Operation Homefront Southeast, which serves the states of Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Families eligible for the distribution are active duty from levels E1 through E6, as well as wounded warriors of any rank post-9/11. Each registered family will receive two Wal-Mart refillable bags with nonperishable meal items, as well as a gift card — usually worth $15 to $20, Merriam said — to purchase meat for the meal.

“Everyone’s always very happy with how much stuff they get,” Merriam said.

Volunteers will be on hand to help carry the meal items out to the families’ cars.

The event also is designed to put forth a festive atmosphere. Merriam said there will be such an area for kids to color and write letters to Santa. Merriam said previous events have had Santa Claus on hand. Refreshments such as cookies and punch will be served.

According to opera, the program is expected to distribute 8,500 meals at about 25 locations in the United States this year.

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