Council on Aging, local churches prepare meals for Christmas

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By Tony Wittkowski | City Reporter | The Times Herald

While most people will be inside celebrating Christmas with loved ones Thursday, volunteers for the St. Clair County Council on Aging will be busy delivering meals.

Jyme Hager, assistant administrator for the Council on Aging, said the Christmas dinners will be sent out across the county.

“They can call our office, but we have all volunteers this year,” Hager said. “We will be delivering more than 350 meals to the whole county. We have 38 different groups of volunteers who will be sent out on Christmas.”

The meals from the Council on Aging include ham, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, cheesecake and a dinner roll.

Hager said this is one of the three holiday meals the council delivers each year, including Thanksgiving and Easter. Meals will not be served at senior citizen centers.

The council was taking in orders for delivered meals a week before Christmas, so Hager and the staff could get an idea of how much food they will need.

“There are a lot of seniors who are home alone,” Hager said. “They appreciate us and the volunteers who give them their dinners. We started signing people up for Christmas volunteering at Thanksgiving time.”

All Saints Episcopal Church in Marysville will be serving food at 543 Michigan Ave., from noon to 3 p.m.

Tracie Little, director for the church, said the meals are also available for takeout and delivery.

The dinner will include ham, turkey, potatoes, baked beans, green beans, squash, coleslaw, buns and desserts.

Little said this will be the ninth consecutive year the church has given away donated dinners.

“We have people looking forward to reaching and giving back,” she said. “There is a great need for folks who find themselves economically challenged.”

The First Congregational Church at 723 Court St. in Port Huron is having a free Christmas dinner from noon to 2 p.m. Christmas Day.

Church members Jeremy and Melinda Thompson are coordinating the dinner, which will include turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, peaches, cranberry sauce, dessert and beverages.

This marks the 29th year the church will be providing Christmas dinners. Thompson said he and his wife took over responsibilities for the dinner a few years ago to feed people who live in the Old Town area.

“The dinner is a complete holiday meal that’s all made at the church,” Thompson said. “We start making them two days before the big day. On Christmas Eve, we make the stuffing and prepare the rest of the meal.”

Eight crews of drivers will be making deliveries, as Thompson said the volunteers will be accepting orders until 10 a.m. on Christmas Day. Last year the church provided 760 meals, 366 of which were delivered to families within the county.

The dinners are funded through donations by individuals and local businesses.

“It’s a reward for the recipients of the meal and the volunteers as well,” Thompson said. “There is a lot of need in our area. Some have very little on Christmas, so we try to provide something nice for them.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at (810) 989-6270 or twittkowsk@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 24, 2014)

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