Church invites all to free Christmas dinner

By GARY HENRY ghenry@prairiepress.net
Posted 12/16/19

Members of the First United Methodist Church at Paris are again giving up part of their Christmas Day to prepare a community Christmas dinner.

“There are a lot of people who may celebrate …

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Church invites all to free Christmas dinner

Posted

Members of the First United Methodist Church at Paris are again giving up part of their Christmas Day to prepare a community Christmas dinner.

“There are a lot of people who may celebrate Christmas the weekend before or the weekend after, but are alone on Christmas Day,” said Richard Jones.

He said the idea of the Christmas dinner is to give everybody who is alone or perhaps doesn’t have the desire or means to prepare a festive meal a way to enjoy the food in the company of others and experience the holiday spirit.

There is no charge for the meal but those wanting to attend must call the church, 217-466-4215, before Dec. 23.

“Anybody is welcome, but we just need a count so we know how much food to prepare,” Jones said.

The meal is served at noon Christmas Day and the menu is ham, potatoes, vegetables, salad, cakes and pies.

Jones explained the church started serving the Christmas meal about five or six years ago after recognizing there are people in the community who have nowhere to go and spend the day alone during a holiday that is so strongly family oriented. He added it is common to serve about 150 people.

“That will be down a little this year because we normally took meals to the inmates at the jail,” he said.

The Edgar County Jail is currently housing inmates in other facilities while the sheriff’s department addresses issues raised by the Department of Corrections and the county’s insurance provider.

Jones said church members still plan to take meals to the jail for dispatchers and others working there on Christmas as well as offer meals to on duty Paris police officers and firefighters.