700 Christmas meals
Hartselle Church of Christ feeds 700 Christmas Day
Hartselle Church of Christ demonstrated the Christmas spirit of giving by feeding over 700 Meals on Wheels recipients and other disadvantaged individuals on Christmas Day.
Church members cooked the meal at home before they attended morning worship at 9:30 a.m., served in Styrofoam boxes by volunteers after the service and delivered at the doorways of recipients from 11 to 1 p.m.
The Christmas dinner consisted of baked ham, cornbread dressing, broccoli and rice casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, roll and cup cake.
“Names and addresses of recipients are provided with the help of Meals on Wheels, Committee on Church Cooperation, and Hartselle and Decatur Housing Authorities,” said church secretary Jerrie Swann. “We had 691 dinners spoken for when our office closed Dec. 23.”
An estimated 150 church families prepared the food using standard recipes, according to Joann Sneed, who helped coordinate the project. Four serving lines were set up in the fellowship hall to facilitate the filling of dinner boxes. Separate volunteer teams packed cup cakes in separate boxes and filled large containers for delivery volunteers.
“We had all the dinner boxes filled in about 30 minutes,” Sneed said, “and we had food left over. That’s a credit to excellent teamwork.”
Minister Phillip Hines noted that the project began eight years ago out of a concern for the elderly who rely on a noon meal from Meals on Wheels on weekdays.
“Our members wanted to make sure they had a balanced meal on Christmas Day,” he pointed out. “We boxed and delivered about 400 meals the first year and its has grown every year.”
“I helped serve at first but after the third year, I decided I wanted to be one of those who made deliveries, he added. “I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone we feed has a story. They’re thankful just to have someone visit them for a few minutes. I stuck with the job because of what it means to my heart.”
He added that the project has brought his congregation closer together as a church.
“Many of our kids help with the project,” said church member Justin Barley. “They are learning that it’s a blessing to help others in need.”