LIMA — Anyone in the community who needs a place to go on Christmas is welcome at the annual Lima Community Christmas Dinner at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1275.
The free dinner, in its 16th year, is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christmas Day at the post, 124 E. Elm St., Lima. It is sponsored by VFW Post 1275 and Korean War Veterans Chapter.
There were 400 meals served by volunteers last year with expectations for the same this year, according to Kyle Catlett, event organizer. Food is donated by volunteers and businesses.
“There are so many people who don’t have anywhere to go on Christmas for one reason or another,” Catlett said. When the meal first started there were not any restaurants open on Christmas, according to Catlett.
“Christmas is about the spirit of giving, and we want to be able to share what we have with others — whether it be dinner or happiness and the spirit of the season.”
He said he enjoys seeing the smiles the meal puts on the faces of those who attend. Christmas dinner is something he said some may take for granted, but there are people who can’t afford a meal or don’t have family nearby to spend the holidays with.
“To see people who appreciate what you have prepared for them is always a joy to someone who cooks food for them,” Catlett said.
The cook for the meal previously cooked in Kalida at Dick’s Steakhouse.
Volunteers who are friends and family of Catlett’s will help serve the dinner. The Calvelage family, who have volunteered for 10 years, comes from Delphos to also help serve the meal.
“When we started this, my friends jumped on board and we are glad for all of the volunteers,” Catlett said.
The menu is turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, scalloped corn casserole, macaroni and cheese, greens, vegetable trays, deviled eggs and desserts.
Black and White Cab Co. will once again provide free rides to and from the Christmas dinner. People needing a ride the day of the dinner may call 419-222-6161.
Financial donations are being accepted to help pay for food. Call Catlett at 419-230-9477.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.