Volunteers made sure thousands of people in Chattanooga had a hot meal for Christmas today.

The operation at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen this year looked like any other year except for one thing. This year more hands are on deck. With volunteers coming from states away.

On any given day hundreds of people receive a hot meal from the Chattanooga Community Kitchen and Christmas day was no different. Nearly 1,000 people lined up Monday for a plate.

It's a project that requires plenty of volunteers.

“You have a very good selection that come and spend their time and try to help us all out,” said Joanna Tatum, homeless person.

One of those volunteers is John Puz.  He and his wife drove from Newton, Texas to serve the homeless population here in Chattanooga.

They were shocked to see just how many people are willing to help.

“Wow it was just that many people that wanted to help somebody else and it's good for the day that it is in the reason for the season,” said John Puz, volunteer.

It's something close to his heart Puz says he enjoys volunteering at homeless shelters because he understands where they are coming from.

“I came out of the hole and I feel like it's just is encouragement to be here to show like hey I'm still not all that but there's a way out,” said John Puz, volunteer.

A way out is exactly what people like Joanna Tatum are starting to see. This may be the last time volunteers will see Tatum at the Community Kitchen.

“I'm in the process of getting housing and everyone is working with me because I'm really trying,” said Joanna Tatum, homeless person.

Tatum has been coming to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen for years but she says she's thankful they didn't give up on her.

“It's hard but you got to be a fighter you got to stay focused it help you along the way,” said Joanna Tatum, homeless person.

Tatum says she's spent many Christmas at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen and each year the volunteers continue to get better.