TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- Jeff and Kari Killough love to serve food, but this lunchtime meal is one served with love.
"I love the OC Rescue Mission, and we want to bless them today with some food," said Killough, owner of the Tri-tip Man Food Truck.
Their food truck visited the OC Rescue Mission in Tustin during the lunch hour Tuesday. Killough served a free tri-tip meal to more than 100 people -- all formerly homeless -- now getting help at the Mission's Village of Hope.
Salvador Blanco lives with his five boys at the Village. He says he's working in the Village's machine department as he tries to get back on his feet after losing his job.
"We've been struggling for almost two years, me and my boys, living in motels, trying to keep up with the payments in the motels," said Blanco, as he thanked Killough for a plate of food.
"We have seen an increase in homelessness in Orange County, and a lot of that is due to the increase in rent," said Anna Song, director of development at the OC Rescue Mission. "Rent has been increasing over the last six years and continues to increase through 2018."
With the increase comes a demand for food.
"We provide an average of 3,000 meals a day, not only for the families and children living here at the Village of Hope, but also to our other 11 campuses," said Song. "We also do food boxes for low-income families."
That's what brought the Killough's here after they saw a story on Eyewitness News last month about the food shortage.
"For him (Killough) to want to provide lunch, which is a third of the meals for one day, it's wonderful for our budget," said Song. "But also it's a sense of community."
"I don't even know how to describe it," said Renae Swartz, clean and sober for one year and getting help with her two children at the Village of Hope. "The feeling inside that people actually really do care is really special."
This time of year, there's not just a call for food. Officials say there's also a need for about 750 gifts for adults and children living here. Song says the gifts will go into the Village's make-shift holiday shop this Saturday, where parents can choose a gift for their children, and kids can pick out a present for their parents.
"Christmas is not only about receiving, it's also about giving, so for the children to be able to 'shop' for their parents, it's a really special time," said Song.
Items needed include baby items and toys for all ages, such as big crayons, puzzles, board games, books, play sets, blocks, action figures, stuffed animals, trains, cars, dolls, coloring books, Nerf balls, craft kits, bracelets, socks and hair accessories.
For fathers: wallets, watches, journals, socks, hooded sweatshirts, baseball caps, journals, water bottles, books.
For mothers: purses/bags, journals, water bottles, costume jewelry, scarves, scented lotions, socks, make-up (mascara, eye liner, lip balm), hair accessories
To donate, visit www.rescuemission.org, or call (714) 247-4303, or visit:
1 Hope Dr, Tustin
Donation warehouse hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mon-Sat)
Help arrives for OC Rescue Mission in form of food truck
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