EDMONTON -- More than 500 Christmas dinners were served Monday night to hungry clients of Edmonton’s Hope Mission.

This is the second of four such meals prepared by the downtown agency, and first sponsored in memory of a loved one.

James Brown’s wife Jeanie passed away in 2018 from ALS, and last Christmas, he wanted to do something significant to honour her. It was an initiative that is now being called the Second Annual Jeanie Brown Christmas Dinner.

“Jeanie had a real heart for people,” Brown recalled. “I thought, what better way to honour her than to put on a Christmas dinner? She loved serving meals to family and friends and we just thought this would be perfect.”

Sixty volunteers helped stage the meal, but the Mission says work to make it happen starts months in advance.

“Our kitchen starts prepping in August and September and they don’t stop,” spokesperson Kate Halsey told CTV News Edmonton.

“Especially around the holiday times when it can be pretty challenging for some people, it's an environment that’s warm, it's inviting, it's peaceful and it's just a place to come and sit and have a good meal,” she said.

Hope Mission helps city families experiencing poverty. The organization typically serves 1,200 meals every day, 365 days a year.

Anyone wishing to donate warm clothing or funds for meals can visit their website or drop off donations to 9908-106 Avenue.