We held the first Community Christmas meal in 2011 and served around 500 plates. Last year, we served around 1200 meals, including deliveries and dine-in and carry-out. The meal grew out of a food drive held in 2011 for the Good Samaritan Center. After realizing the number of individuals receiving food through the Good Samaritan Center and the number of students in our schools that receive free/reduced lunch, we decided to start serving a hot meal to the community on Christmas. Also, we didn’t know of any other organization in our community that served a Christmas meal. For the first three years, individuals within the community provided all funding for the meal. Then Wal-Mart DC has been a special sponsor to help with some of the funding through a grant program.
One of the things that makes it special is that it has truly been a community effort of individuals working together. The city school trustees allow use of the Middle School cafeteria for the meal and administrators, teachers, community members, and students volunteer to work the event and or donate needed items.This year’s meal will include turkey and ham, dressing, sweet potato casseroles, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls, desserts and tea. While the community meal was established to benefit the needy of our community, everyone is welcome.
Last year, NA Middle School and High School groups and clubs (Anchor) provided music, crafts and games, and a clothes closet for the public. We also had Santa! I believe these additions really created a warm and inviting atmosphere and we had a large number of people stay, eat, and listen to music. Also, our high school FCCLA provided clothing donations and we gave away all men and children’s items and only had a few remaining women’s clothing items, so this year we will add to that. We probably had around 200 volunteers counting student groups. We are in need of clothing donations, desserts, and volunteers for this year’s meal. Please contact Mary Margarett King at email@example.com for more information.