LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The millionth free meal of the year at the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles was served during the lunch service today, the mission announced.
The milestone meal, handed out about 1 p.m., went to 65-year-old Franklin Smith, who does volunteer work at the mission, said Mai Lee of the Midnight Mission.
Smith dined on barbecue chicken and rice, salad and bread, according to Lee. He also consumed a soda and some water. The meal was served to him by former Los Angeles Clippers center Olden Polynice.
“This is the only place I eat,” said Smith. “The food is great.” He also said the staff and volunteers at the mission are “wonderful.”
Lee said that the last time the mission — which first opened in 1914– served up a million meals in a year was during the Great Depression.
“Even while other organizations have been forced to cut their services and/or close their doors, we continue to offer our life-saving and life- changing services to any man, woman or child who walks through our doors, completely free of charge,” according to a Midnight Mission statement.
The mission is at 601 S. San Pedro St.