Despite not traditionally celebrating Christmas, members of Montreal’s Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities gathered at the Old Brewery Mission on Friday to mark the holiday in a special way.

Between 300 and 500 of Montreal’s homeless were given a hot holiday meal, served up by community members of the different faiths.

The event was the brainchild of The Chadha Family Foundation, which has sponsored Christmas lunches at the mission for the past few years. This year, however, marked the first time that members of the different religions came together to feed the homeless.

“We know a lot of these people, they’re a lot of our family friends,” said Gruveen Chadha. “I think Christmas is a lot about being together and coming together as a family. A lot of times it’s a very sensitive time for people who are homeless and who are often alone. It’s really nice when a bunch of communities can come together and help support other people on this very special day.”

Zulfi Aziz, a Muslm retired engineer, said all religions teach that you must help your fellow man.

“We are part of society and there people of all beliefs living here and we want to be of service to everybody,” said Aziz. “We are part of the fabric of Canada and that’s what Canada is all about.”

Dawson student Elijah Meltzer said he plans on coming back to help again next year.

“Christmas is all about giving back and hanging out with family. Hanging out with all my family friends here, giving back to these people and seeing what just a plate of food can do, to brighten up people’s day is incredible and an amazing thing.”