By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 14, 2023.
Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization is holding its 39th annual free turkey dinner Christmas dinner.
The dinner will be held at LSCO on Christmas Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. All members of the community are invited but are asked to call LSCO in advance. LSCO Fund Development and Marketing Coordinator Hannah Dupuis said Wednesday they are happy to be hosting Christmas dinner in person again.
“We’re really excited to announce that it is going to be in person for the first time since 2019. During COVID, we delivered all these meals, we didn’t want to risk bringing people together. But now it’s really important that people socialize and are back,” said Dupuis.
People who would like to come to the dinner can call the LSCO at 403-320-2222.
Dupuis said everyone is welcome.
“It is open to anybody in the community, we don’t check your income, we don’t check if you deserve to be here, we just want you to be here, socialize, have a full belly. .. we are doing some delivered meals. And we do have free transportation available if you need it.”
She said advance notice is needed to ensure the LSCO has enough food for everyone.
“We want to make sure we have enough food for everybody. If you’re interested in coming, please just give us a call. . . we’re already decorating so it’s gonna be really amazing. And I’m very stoked to see everybody here on Christmas Day,” said Dupuis.
Dupuis said the LSCO is preparing to serve around 1,000 people which includes deliveries. They normally see around 650 people in person.
“We deliver meals to on-duty firefighters, on-duty EMTs, on-duty police. We also deliver meals to the soup kitchen and Woods Homes youth shelter as well. Meals on Wheels clients will also get a free dinner Christmas Day.
“And anybody else that’s house bound and can’t come in,” she said.
Dupuis said any donations for this cause are appreciated – the LSCO needs about $12,000 to cover costs and they have raised almost half that.
“We really rely on donations for this. So, this is entirely community-funded.
“If you’re interested in sponsoring meals, that is a way that you can kind of contribute to that. We have lots of businesses and individuals that will sponsor a table or a group of tables to help cover those costs for us.
Because we kind of front that so that people can come in and eat for free on Christmas Day because a lot of the shelters and soup kitchens don’t have that opportunity on Christmas” because their staff want spend Christmas with their families, said Dupuis.
Donors can call the LSCO at 403-320-2222 or go through their website at https://lethseniors.com/christmas/
Another option is to donate in person.
“We’re 50 per cent of the way to our goal which is great but if we had some more down, that would be lovely to just make sure that we can serve as many people as possible because that’s really the goal of this,” said Dupuis.