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Thousands Line Up For Free Holiday Meal Vouchers

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MIAMI (CBSMIami) – It's a celebration that's become a pre-holiday tradition in little Havana...

People lining up and camping out for a bit of holiday help, many waiting since Thanksgiving Day, dancing and playing dominos to pass the time hoping to snatch up one of 3,000 vouchers for a hot meal.

For 50 years CAMACOL, the Latin chamber of commerce has handed out Christmas gift baskets, packed with turkey and all the trimmings.

"It's really good," said Anna Duquerne, one of the many people waiting in line. "They help us a lot when they give this out."

Rolando Hernandez has been coming to the CAMACOL giveaway since he was a kid.

"It's like a family tradition," Hernandez said with a smile.

This year the food he receives will feed his wife and their baby on the way.

"She's got a big belly waiting. It's worth it. Just to feed the family for Christmas, it's worth it," he said.

The annual meal giveaway is a taste of some much needed holiday cheer, with thousands now looking forward to a noche buena feast filled with food, family and friends.

"This is amazing what we're getting here," said Letty Rojas, the first person in line. "Help to feed the family and friends too. Get together Christmas Eve. So you're going to have a big party? Yes I can feed almost 21 people with this ticket."

On December 16th people who receive vouchers can come back and cash that voucher in for a bag full of food worth about $150.

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