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Amherst's Christmas Dinner celebrates community

Volunteer Steve Wells shows off a plate of food at the Amherst Community Christmas Dinner on Sunday.
Volunteer Steve Wells shows off a plate of food at the Amherst Community Christmas Dinner on Sunday.

AMHERST, N.S. – Each year, Amherst’s community Christmas dinner gets a little bigger and better.

This year was no different as more than 250 meals were served at the Bridge Workshop on Christmas Day, on top of 75 or so meals for volunteers and dozens more for fire, EHS and police who were working.

This year was no different as more than 250 meals were served at the Bridge Workshop on Christmas Day, on top of 75 or so meals for volunteers and dozens more for fire, EHS and police who were working.

“It has been an amazing day,” organizing committee chair Betsy Prager said. “The response has been tremendous.”

Prager said the numbers appeared to be consistent with last year’s numbers. She said the number of volunteers was strong again this year as approximately 75 volunteers of all ages gave up a few hours on Christmas Day to do everything from prepare the meals, to serving and seating those who came for a dinner.

The biggest thing committee organizers have worked to overcome is the stigma that the dinner is for the underprivileged. She said the dinner continues to be for everyone in the community from all walks of life.

She said there were a number of families that came to volunteers at the event, along with a number of families who came to eat and socialize for a few hours at Christmas.

The dinner has become popular among seniors or others suffering mental health or addictions problems, people who might otherwise be alone at Christmas.

“We can’t say enough about how generous this community is,” Prager said. “We had all kinds of support from individuals and companies across the community. Everyone who we asked was able to support us in one way or another.”

Contributors included Acadian Printing, the Amherst News, the Masonic Order, Amherst Pharmasave, ARHS, Amherst Superstore, Bambino’s, Bridge Adult Service Centre, CFTA Radio, CKDH Radio, Frank Elliott, Alice and Lawrence Harrison, Hawkes Blueberries, Highland Market, Janice Lowerison, Janet from the Amherst Farmers Market, Manasseh Market, Oxford Frozen Foods, Robin’s Donuts, RBC, Sobeys, Town of Amherst, Weston Foods and GFS.

A large crowd was on hand for the 10th community Christmas dinner on Sunday.
The dinner included a full meal including turkey and ham, potatotes, veggies, dressing and cranberries.
Volunteers were from all walks of life and did all sorts of tasks, including scraping plates.

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