FORT MYERS - The Salvation Army is helping to make the holidays a little brighter for those in need.
The organization fed hundreds of people their annual Christmas lunch at its service center in Fort Myers. Organizers were expecting 600 people to show up.
"They say the job market's going up," said Jeromy Hartman, a cook with the Salvation Army, who has seen the demand go up. "But down here in the trenches where we actually fight the battles of poverty we only see an in crease in the need of help."
One of those who came to get a warm meal was Larry Hartman, who lives in a tent.
"It's good. It beats eating out of a can in the swamps," he said. "It means somebody really cares."
Organizers say there's no shortage of people who need a helping hand during the holidays.
"It's an honor for us to serve this special meal to families and individuals who otherwise may have been hungry or alone on Christmas,” said Major Tom Louden, the area commander for the Salvation Army. “In fact, it represents the heart of who we are as The Salvation Army – sharing the love of God through these simple actions which often mean the most to those in need.”
In addition to the meals, the organization also bought toys and gifts for the kids.