Community serves up Christmas fare

Christmas can be a tough time of year for many people with little or nothing to eat.

Clement Levasseur

Clement Levasseur

Christmas can be a tough time of year for people with little or nothing to eat.

But a number of organizations are attempting to bring a little cheer into the lives of those less fortunate.

The Salvation Army is delivering dinners to senior shut-ins on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), providing a meal and some companionship for those who can’t get out.

“The key to the program is not just the meal – which is fantastic – but the visit and the chance to connect with the seniors,” said Kim Maandag, of the Salvation Army. “I received a letter from a woman who had been alone at Christmas for 27 years until the Salvation Army showed up on her doorstep.”

The meal includes a turkey dinner and trimmings, soup, salad, dessert and a gift.

For more information on the delivery program, please call 250-740-1004.

Nanaimo 7-10 Club Society hosts its third annual Christmas Day breakfast Sunday (Dec. 25) from 9 a.m. to noon at 285 Prideaux St. No reservations are required.

“We hosted dinners for more than 20 years, but the board decided to switch to breakfasts,” Gordon Fuller, society chairman. “It’s been well received with more than 150 people showing up last year. We expect the same this year.”

Fuller said Christmas can be a depressing time for some people and not having enough to eat just adds to the problems.

The breakfast includes ham, eggs, potatoes and fruit salad, as well as a bagged lunch for participants to take with them.

“It’s also a chance to for people to socialize, get warm and have a good time,” said Fuller.

Donations are down close to 17 per cent at the 7-10 club, but Fuller said some food was dropped off to help with the breakfast.

“Most of the stuff we end up purchasing,” he said.

Nanaimo Seventh Day Adventist Church (at 2400 Highland Blvd.) is also doing its part to help the community’s disadvantaged.

The church is offering a Christmas Day pancake breakfast beginning at 10 a.m. and a turkey dinner at 3:30 p.m.

In between the meals, hot coffee and Christmas treats will be served, table games can be played and holiday movies will be shown.

There will also be a table set up with used clothing.

The event is free and anyone requiring transportation can call 250-729-5976 or 250-758-1334.

Nanaimo Youth Services Association held its 17th annual Christmas dinner Dec. 7 with more than 250 people attending.

“We held it a little earlier so we didn’t clash with any other dinners and it was an enormous success,” said Steve Arnett, association CEO. “We had young people, young parents and their children and about 50 adults enjoy the evening. It was pretty cold that night and it just added to the sense of well-being.”

All the food for the evening was donated including 14 turkeys, 10 hams and all the trimmings. Each child got to visit with Santa Claus and went home with a small gift bag.

“As much as there is a high demand to help those who are struggling, this community is amazing in its ability to dig down deep and give,” said Arnett.