As the Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre band the Jolly Roger played on the gymnasium stage in the Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre, about 150 community members ate a three-course meal courtesy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Parkdale United Church Monday night.
“I’m pleased to see so many people here this evening,” said Pastor Nephtaly Dorzilme.
“We’re glad people can come and get a hot meal.”
Parkdale residents young and old gathered for a free home-cooked holiday meal, set up buffet style as volunteers handed out mashed potatoes, turkey, rice and peas, lasagna, dinner rolls, salad and chocolate cake and fruitcake. To wash it down, juice boxes and eggnog were also provided.
Family members, friends and complete strangers sat next to one another discussing their day and plans for the week as they enjoyed their meal.
At least 20 volunteers from the church and the Parkdale community helped cook and set up the holiday feast for the neighbourhood.
Keith Mangar, the coordinator of the church dinners which happen on the third Tuesday of every month, was pleased with the volunteer and attendee turnout.
“Part of our faith-based organization is to take care of those who are in need, so this is one way. It’s a small way but it makes a big difference,” Mangar said.
“They say when they come to our dinners that it’s such a complete meal compared to other dinners. They get everything from salad to a main meal to dessert thanks to our volunteers.”
The church also had a toy distribution at the end of the evening, which was donated by church members along with RBC Royal Bank and TD Canada Trust Bank. Children received basketballs, board games and Lego sets to take home.