ALBANY, N.Y. - Preparations are underway for an annual tradition in Albany.
The Capital City Rescue Mission opens its doors every Christmas, providing meals and toys for more than 3,000 people.
The Mission said it's made possible through donations along with hundreds of volunteers who've given their time over the last couple of weeks. The mission will serve up their 64th annual Christmas lunch on Wednesday. They will also have a separate to-go area, which allows those less fortunate to take food with them.
It's all work that the Executive Director of the Mission, Perry Jones said, began months ago.
Jones estimates it costs about $25,000 to host such an event and that's why they collect donations all year round, relying of the generosity of companies and individuals from across our area.
Max Ansong has been the Executive Chef at the mission for 17 years. He takes pride in the fact that all the food is made from scratch.
Ansong was previously the Head Chef at the Fort Orange Club but knew he wanted to do more, he said it was a calling.
The Mission also relies heavily on volunteers who not only serve food, but they give gifts to children in need.
More than 400 kids will be able to come into the Mission's warehouse and select a gift on Christmas Day.
Jones explains 1,200 volunteers help out throughout the year but 250 of them chose to focus on this holiday.
"All these past two weeks, they've been here cutting and putting all this together," said Jones. "What we do is we get all this together and it's cold now. But it goes into our ovens, convection ovens and it cooks fast. And so there's constant doing of that. And volunteers do a lot. We can only hire so many people."