Fourteenth annual free Christmas dinner serves hundreds

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The 14th annual free Christmas dinner for the Perry community and surrounding towns was turned into a COVID-19 drive-through and delivery event this year but still served some 250 people.

“Our Community pulled together to make this work and feed our people,” said longtime organizer Deb Miller of Perry. “This is so important to us that the changes were made, the food was provided, wonderful volunteers prepared and delivered to vehicles and homes.”

The virus might have reduced the number of dinners served, which “was down from all previous years,” said longtime organizer Larry Meacham, but nothing went to waste.

“I think a big part of our past draw has been the sociability that people could enjoy when they were dining onsite, which was not available to them this year,” Meacham said. “Nonetheless, we are calling this a successful event. While we did prepare for more, the good news is that all of our leftovers were able to be taken to Hope Ministries in Des Moines and so will be put to good use there.”

Miller agreed that this year’s loss of fellowship was painful, but it did not obscure the community’s generosity.

“We missed seeing all your faces laughing and chatting,” she said, “but the mission this year was to deliver the fruits our community has to share. Thank you to all that gave products, your time, support, donations of all kinds.”

Meacham was also grateful for the “great cooperation from some very giving benefactors. I will have another post about them in a day or so,” he said.

“2020 has left us with thankful hearts for what we have been given,” Miller said.

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