More than 300 guests were in attendance at this year’s annual Souls Harbour Holiday Dinner in Halifax, which is held to offer free meals to those in need.

The meal is symbolic of an effort to keep the Christmas spirit of compassion going into the New Year and beyond.

"People make an extra effort to be nice to each other at Christmas, and I would hope at Soul's Harbour Rescue Mission, we're a place where that spirit can continue,” said Michele Porter.

Part of that spirit brought a relatively new organization of volunteers who were ready to pitch in wherever needed.

“Lots of times we have special events where we need an extra 20 or 30 people once or twice a year," said volunteer Tracey Randem.

The chef calls it a 1984 dinner, including a comfort food feast and Yorkshire pudding.

“It's probably about 160 of beef. I did 150 pounds of potatoes,” said chef Ryan Walter Payne. “I couldn't tell you how many peas and carrots."

Organizers spent the past two days putting things together to make sure everything went according to plan.

The line-ups started early.

“I had a nice beef, a very nice potato, a mashed potato and some veggies,” said Wayne Moulton. “I appreciated every moment of it."

On top of the music, roast beef made the dinner unusually luxurious. But, as the chef says, the donors came through. So far, Soul’s Harbour has signed up to support 19 charitable organizations.

"If nobody helps anybody, what kind of society are we?" Moulton said.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ron Shaw.