Kellogg Foundation hosts free Christmas dinner for community

Posted at 11:05 PM, Dec 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-25 23:11:19-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- There was a long line outside the Kellogg Foundation on Christmas morning.

While most places in Battle Creek were closed, the foundation's doors were wide open.  They provided a free, warm holiday meal to the public. Many of the people who attended may have gone without a meal.

"It's a great holiday tradition," said the the foundation’s vice president of talent and human resources,  ,” Dianna Langenburg. "I love being here with my whole family. I come here every year. I wouldn't have it any other way."

The foundation is one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations and funds a multitude of initiatives around the world. Their mission is to help vulnerable children and families succeed.

Langenburg said about 560 people from all walks of life broke bread together at this year's feast. She's been a part of this tradition for about thirteen years with her family. Langenburg and colleague, Alicia Santiago Gancer, are two of several Kellogg Foundation employees who give of their time and energy on Christmas Day.

Over 100 volunteers from around the community also contributed their time on the holiday, such as 11-year-old Caroline Krell, who lended a hand for her third year.

"It's just a great way to see a community coming together to see that all these people have a great Christmas,” Caroline said.

Everyone played a part. Many tasks needed to be done, from serving the food to cleaning the dishes to just making everyone feel welcome on this happy holiday.

"It's a very humbling experience for all of us, especially for my teenage children” said Gancer, who is assistant to the director of Michigan programs. "They see all different walks of life. It brings the issue of the less fortunate to surface."

Gary Webster said he did contract work for the foundation years ago. He's been coming to the dinner for several years.

"The food is wonderful. It's a great contribution that Kellogg makes to the general public and people are really friendly," Webster said.

"It's just a wonderful season event."