Church hosts 38th dinner for those alone on Christmas Day

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Filling a void through food and fellowship, that’s the goal First and Calvary Presbyterian Church, which hosted it’s 38th “Christmas Dinner for Those Alone” on Wednesday.

“This is an event that was created for people that had no family on Christmas,” said Chef James Clary. “You think of the thought of someone being alone on Christmas, that’s horrible.”

Clary says more than 700 people will be served, which he says is no easy task. The meat is served with all the trimmings.

“We got twenty 20-pound turkeys,” said Clary. “Buckingham’s actually smokes the turkeys for us.”

However, he says the food can’t be served without help from volunteers.

“It’s not just church members,” said Clary. “We had a young man who was 13 years old who just liked being in the kitchen and he was actually pretty good…'”

Some volunteers say it can be easy to forget the reason for the season.

“Christmas is to help people and to be loving and warm,” said Volunteer Suzy Bunge.

This is Bunge and her husband’s fourth year to volunteer.

“We feel gratitude and so happy to help Springfield do this,” said Bunge. 

The first Christmas Dinner for Those Alone took place in 1981.

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