There was a festive feel inside Loaves and Fishes in Sydney on Saturday as the community kitchen welcomed volunteers and diners for a Christmas Eve meal with all the trimmings.

“The patrons that come in don't get to enjoy Christmas like everyone else,” said general manager Marco Amati. “This is something special that we put together for a nice turkey dinner they don't get. Some people don't have families, live alone.”

Dozens of volunteers assembled to help serve the more than 150 people expected to come through the door. It's become an annual tradition for volunteer Janet Steele.

“It's a need in this community,.” Steele said. “Everybody comes together. We're all equal.  We're all sharing.”

Volunteer Krista MacNeil wanted her daughter to have first-hand experience with the season of giving.

“Where people don't have family, food, is very much a Canadian problem and not just a third-world problem,” said MacNeil.

The past couple of years the number of people in need keeps growing. This year is no different.

“Over the last year it's up 10 per cent, so the numbers just keep climbing,” Amanti said.

The dinner is sponsored by Winnie and the late Lloyd MacDonald – a successful business owner that began the annual tradition in 1997.

“It brings these people together,” Winnie MacDonald said. “I saw many smiling faces down there in the chairs. They look very happy and happy to see each other. That's the main thing.”

Spreading Christmas cheer so everyone's holidays are just a little brighter.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.