UTICA, N.Y. -- The holidays can be stressful for families struggling financially. So a Utica non-profit is helping out those in need.

Hundreds of people lined up on West Street Monday night to receive free food and presents from the Johnson Park Center. All of the items were donated by several companies and organizations, including many based in Utica.

The center's founder says she understands the struggles some face during the Christmas season.

"I started this work homeless. Started working with the poor and needy. Now 30 years later look at us at Christmastime, being able to serve the community. It's a wonderful thing," said Maria A. Scates, the Johnson Park Center CEO and founder.

The center is asking for donations and seeking volunteers, head to their website for more information.