HOMESTEAD (KDKA) — The spirit of the season is alive and well, at Park Place A.M.E Church in Homestead. Volunteers are giving away 550 boxes of food.

Joe McCain began his missions of mercy with hats, gloves and socks.

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“I’d just drive around the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, finding homeless people underneath the bridges and stuff and giving it to them,” he says. “So, it’s actually 16 years of doing it.”

Fellow volunteer Brandy Franklin convinced him to expand the program. She remembers leaner times.

“I would have to go to food banks, or coat drives and things like that,” she recalls. “And right now I feel like I’m in a better position, where I actually wanted to give back, because I have received on the other end, too.”

McCain works at Consumer Produce in the Strip District, which donated more than 500 bags of vegetables and fruit.

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“We just started getting the donations in from his employees,” Brandy says. “Sunkist, Idaho, and it just all came together.”

They deliver to young and old, students and families, anyone who could use a little boost as winter settles in. Each box is 26 pounds of love.

The donations are appreciated by those on the receiving end.

But for McCain, who grew up in Homestead, it’s simply a matter of payback.

“Just giving back what was given to me,” he says. “All of the older people in the community helped raise me, along with my mother and father, so it’s a humbling experience for me.”

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