CHARLESTON — The line at this morning’s Star Gospel Mission $50 gift card giveaway stretched down Meeting Street, turned a corner at Line and stopped just shy of Nassau Street, a good block shorter than last year.

This year the mission limited cards to people 25 years or older, up from 18 last year.

Doors opened at 7:30 a.m. to hundreds of people who had waited all night on the damp street. Some carried umbrellas, others folding chairs.

The mission planned to give out about 650 cards this morning and let local pastors distribute a few hundred more cards as they see fit.

The cards can be used to buy food at Piggly Wiggly stores. They can’t be used to buy tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets.

The money comes from The Post and Courier’s Good Cheer Fund, which is replenished through donations from readers each December. The Good Cheer Fund also gives to other local charities during the Christmas season.