Christmas dinner came early for hundreds of Winnipeggers in need as the Salvation Army served its annual holiday meal.

About 100 volunteers dished out traditional food to close to 1,000 people who packed into the Salvation Army's Booth Centre on Henry Avenue on Wednesday.

"We're just trying to share some of the joy of Christmas. People are coming in, they're having a good time, they're eating a really nice meal, and it's just a very festive atmosphere," said Maj. Robb Kerr.

The meal included turkey, stuffing, vegetables and dessert.

Salvation Army Christmas dinner

The meal included traditional food like turkey, stuffing, veggies, gravy and dessert. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

"We get 1,000 people that come out for this dinner, so you can appreciate even with those numbers, that people are looking forward to this. People want to come her and have this dinner," Kerr said.

Mark Czar is one of those people. Due to problems with his landlord, Czar said he and his family are looking for a new home. "I'm hoping but right now it looks pretty bleak, unfortunately to say," he said.

Salvation Army Christmas dinner

A Salvation Army trumpeter lets a child have a turn playing his instrument. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

"But as long as I have my wife with me and my children, that's what's the most important."

Volunteers at the event spoke about their desire to give to those less fortunate.

"Part of me just likes to give. I like to do things not for me, but for other people, so I think that's just kind of in my spirit," said Daniel Jabungan.

The gesture was not lost on Czar. "Very touching, I was very surprised. At least it's one less meal I have to worry about for my children."

Salvation Army serves early Christmas dinner1:22

With files from Tyson Koschik