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Food pantries prep for Christmas Dinner - KOAM TV 7

Food pantries prep for Christmas Dinner

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Christmas meals are being served at several places across the four state area today and although many pantries will be closed next week, they'll assist each other to make sure no one goes hungry. For many in our community the gift of a hot meal is a gift that can mean the world. Today several food pantries served their final meals before closing up for the holidays, but while some may be closed Christmas day...others welcome guests with open arms.

"We had a great experience so we thought we'd continue volunteering." says Katlin Owens.

It's a Christmas gift that warms the heart. Food pantries around Joplin are hard at work serving hot meals to those in need.

"There's some charities that are doing their meals over the weekend...we coordinate so it's not all on one day." says St. Peter's Outreach director, Terri Giarratano.

For st. Peter's outreach in Joplin, they will not be serving a hot meal this Christmas, but offer plenty of options for those looking for somewhere to go.

"We try to pick a date that the other charities aren't doing there's so we can spread it out. So if someone had lunch with us today, they can have a Christmas meal at another charity on Christmas day" Giarratano says.

The Christmas holiday is known for being a time of giving and for organizers say especially this time during the year is when they see the most donations come in. The outreach received donations from schools and local businesses since thanksgiving, adding more than 600 pounds of food for the holiday season.

"The Christmas season people are extremely generous. Probably the most generous of anytime during the year. Because everyone stops and takes a look at how lucky they are and how fortunate they are." Giarratano says.

Below is a list of local shelters/pantries/churches serving Christmas Day meals:

CARTHAGE- The seventh annual Christmas Day family dinner will be served from noon to 2 p.m. at the Carthage Crisis Center at 100 Main St. The meal is open to anyone "who needs a place to celebrate Christmas," said Brian Bisbee, center director. Those who need transportation to the meal or who want a meal delivered to their home may call the center at 358-3533. Residents who want to volunteer to help at the meal or make contributions may call Marilyn Bisbee at the same number.

PITTSBURG, KAN. - In Pittsburg, a Christmas dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church, 520 N. Pine St. Organizers are planning for more than 700 people, said Debra Bevins, with the church. Anyone in the Pittsburg area who would like a home-delivered meal or a meal for carryout should call the church at 620-231-2920. Volunteers also would be welcomed and may call the same number, Bevins said.

FAIRVIEW - New to the Christmas dinner mix this year is Fairview, where a meal will be served starting at 12:30 p.m. at John Q. Hammons Community Center. City Clerk Lorie Heatley and Della Cline are preparing the traditional dinner. Though they have received some donations, Heatley said the two women expect to serve between 50 and 75 people and are footing most of the bill for the meal. Those who want to help may contact Heatley at Fairview City Hall, 632-4318.

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