A platoon of Salvation Army volunteers braved frigid temperatures and a driving rain Friday morning as they began handing out thousands of boxes of food and bags of toys during the organization's annual holiday giveaway.
About 2,500 people in the Sacramento area had signed up for the holiday assistance program, available to those whose incomes qualify them as impoverished, officials said.
Cars began lining up at Cal Expo before 8 a.m. to claim their goodies, and a steady stream continued to arrive as a pelting rain drenched volunteers. Distribution was set to end at 4 p.m. today.
"When you see a mother with tears in her eyes because she can have a holiday meal and toys for her kids, that makes it all worth it," said Maj. Ray Yant, county coordinator for the Salvation Army. "This is what Christmas is all about."