For the third year in a row, a group of volunteers in Buckhead is making sure that every firefighter and police officer working Christmas Eve in Atlanta can get a good meal.
The Holiday Ham Haul campaign began in 2020 when the COVID pandemic and widespread social unrest contributed to low morale among police and firefighters.
Denise Starling, executive director of the nonprofit Livable Buckhead and a member of the Buckhead Rotary, decided the holiday season would be a good time to show the community’s support for emergency services, and the Holiday Ham Haul was born.
“Firefighters and police officers protect the public 365 days a year, which means many of them work on holidays while we all spend time with family and friends,” Starling said. “Serving them a delicious meal on Christmas Eve is our way of showing them how much they are appreciated.”
On Christmas Eve, about 25 volunteers will gather and put together a meal that includes honey ham, turkey, several sides and a Southern baked pie. They will then travel across Atlanta delivering Christmas Eve dinner to all 36 Atlanta Fire and Rescue stations and all 7 Atlanta Police Department precincts – a total of 43 dinners.
The dinner is made possible through a partnership between Buckhead Rotary, Livable Buckhead and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation and is sponsored by Buckhead Community Improvement District, Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, Buckhead Coalition, Georgia Primary Bank, Southern Baked Pie and Honeybaked Ham.