“They’re all sitting around a lantern in their house,” Residents provide meals for those in need

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The hams are sliced, the pies are baked and the candy is almost ready to go into boxes - all to be delivered to families around Oklahoma City.

"We started with just a few 10, and then it progressed to 600 families," said Paul Ravencraft, founder of Dinner With Love.

Since 2008, Dinner With Love has grown into 6,000 meals every year.

"There's so many families that can't get together. We thought this might be a little way to make them get together so to speak, because now they have the opportunity to get together."

The meals are all delivered by volunteers who see these families' struggle first hand.

"We went to deliver to the house. They're all in their heavy coats. They're all sitting around a lantern in their house. No electricity, no heat, no water and this is all they have," said Lonnie Compton, a volunteer.

"Each family gets a meal that serves 10 people but also included in that box: some reading material. Christmas cards made by children all over the community. And, they'll put little stickers on them and do all of this stuff. They'll bag candy and bag fruit for us, so they get involved, so they understand."

Also included in each box is a bible in Spanish or English.

The reaction to the donation isn't always what you'd expect.

"We get mixed reactions. There's prideful people who get embarrassed, but we also get people who get very emotional," Ravencraft said.

It's a family effort.

Paul Ravencraft's son has helped deliver meals since he was 12.

"To see their appreciation for just some food. Now, he's 18 years old, and he wants to continue this."

It’s a way to deliver cheer and love from a heartfelt community.

There are 800 volunteers helping make and deliver the boxes of food, including a couple NewsChannel 4 employees.

Click here for more information or if you would like to help.

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