MOUNTAIN— The last Dinner on the House event for 2018 saw House of Lazarus (HOL) chefs serve a full-course Christmas meal for close to 100 people.
The Thursday, December 13 community meal, which has been running weekly since its inception in May 2017, included apple and pumpkin pies courtesy of St. John’s United Church in Kemptville, as well as musical entertainment by the Vernon Ukulele Club.
“It’s been a great year for Dinner on the House,” HOL client services manager Kim Merkley said. “We celebrated our one- year anniversary for the program in May. On average, we see about 70 to 80 people every week. We receive regular donations from community members, businesses, churches and other groups. Some donate money or food, while others donate their time, helping to cook, set up, serve, and clean up. We live in a wonderful and generous community.”
HOL’s Dinner on the House is a free weekly community meal open to everyone. The idea behind the program is to build community by bringing people together for food and conversation. The program developed after a food bank survey showed that several adults were going full days each month without food.
“Dinner on the House may have started because of a food bank survey, but the program is open to everyone,” Merkley said. “Yes, it feeds the hungry, but it also brings people together. People get to know their neighbours. People living alone are able to spend at least one meal a week with other people. We learn that no matter our background, we’re all essentially the same.”
Dinner on the House will be taking a three-week break, but will return Thursday, January 10 at its usual time, 4 to 7 p.m., and its usual location, St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, 2227 Simms Street in Mountain.