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Guelph church to deliver 150 free Christmas dinners

On Christmas day, 150 meals will be delivered to community members in need, 50 of them to Royal City Mission
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In 2016 Dublin Street United Church served up Christmas dinner at the church. Now they deliver. GuelphToday file photo

Dublin Street United Church will once again be providing community members in need with a traditional dinner this Christmas. 

One hundred and fifty cooked meals of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and apple pie will be delivered to community members in need on Dec. 25 in the early afternoon, 50 of which will be going to Royal City Mission.

The church has been serving up Christmas dinner for 11 years.

"I was aware of a number of people for whom the Christmas season was a difficult time," said Sarah Martin about why she wanted to start the outreach program. 

Typically, it would be a sit down dinner with candles and tablecloths, said Sarah Martin, who spearheaded the program. 

But the pandemic changed that. 

“We haven’t been able to do that for the last two years, and we’re not doing it this year, we’re doing delivery to community members,” Martin said.

She said it was difficult moving to a delivery-only model, “because gathering together is equally as important as getting a meal,” but that she hopes they will return to offering the dinner in-person in the future. 

In the meantime, Royal City Mission will be offering a sit down dinner, "focusing mainly on those who have nowhere to go on Christmas Day," said RCM pastor Kevin Cohgill in an email. 

They will also be making an additional 50 to 60 meals "to meet the growing needs of our community."

The holiday season can be a difficult time for some, Martin said, but getting together “usually ameliorates that and gives them a sense of well-being. Also, there are some people who don’t have resources to make food, either the places to make it or the resources to buy it.”

She said they reach out to the whole community, and anybody is welcome to sign up for the dinner. 

“There’s no pressure with qualifications or anything like that,” she said. Those interested simply have to share their address and phone number and how many meals are needed.

If you’d like to learn more or register, you can call the church at  519-821-0610 ext. 221. Registration is open until Dec. 10 or when they have reached capacity.