SPRINGFIELD — For the 36th year, First and Calvary Church will be holding a dinner open to the public on Christmas day.
For many, Christmas is spent with family and loved ones. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to be with those they care about most on the holiday.
The goal behind this gesture is to bring comfort to those who will be spending this holiday alone.
Chef James Clary has been leading the way in the kitchen for the ‘Dinner for those alone’ at First and Calvary for over 20 years.
“It started out because we had members of the church who actually had no family. They had nowhere to go for Christmas,” Clary explains. “You can imagine an elderly person sitting at home alone eating a Christmas meal. I mean, that broke our hearts.”
Since Chef Clary started, this event has come a long way.
“The first year I did it we did 200 people, and we expect to do close to 900 on Christmas,” Clary says.
There will be more than one chance for people to come enjoy good food and good company on Christmas day. Meal times will be at 11 a.m., Noon, and 1 p.m.
On the menu will be traditional Christmas foods like ham, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, and hundreds of different desserts.
Clary says this year has could be a record turnout.
“We had such a need this year, so we have told people to show up by 1:30 and whatever food is left you are welcome to it,” says Clary. “At some point we might run out of food, but hopefully not. This thing always works out, there will be enough for everyone to get something to eat.”
Of course, this is the season of giving, and Clary is happy to be able to do just that.
“This is important work. I feel honored and blessed to be able to participate and give back.”
First and Calvary Presbyterian Church is located at 820 E Cherry Street in Springfield.