LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Some of the money dropped in the Salvation Army's red kettles is being put to good use.

The Salvation Army held it's annual distribution day Thursday. Families who registered for the Angel Tree were able to come in and pick up their gifts.

They were also given a food basket with things like turkey, chicken, potatoes and dessert so they can prepare a holiday meal.

The program is benefiting 625 area families this year. "As I've been talking to people here, they are so grateful, didn't really know what they were going to do for Christmas without this. One family said this is great, now I don't have to choose between Christmas and bills so this extra help really means so much to people this time of year," said Julie Nelson from the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is also making an extra effort to reach out to the Hmong community by including chicken and sticky rice in some of the food baskets.