Volunteers give gift of free meals in Lancaster County

LANCASTER, P.A. --- For almost twenty years, the West Earl Fire Company in Brownstown serves as a Christmas away from home for residents.

As a collaborative effort amongst Brownstown area churches, 35 to 40 volunteers served turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables and other warm items to residents in need or simply looking for a Christmas meal.

Robert Rodgers, the lead cook, said when they started the Christmas meal, they served a total of around 200 people.

"This year, we're looking to possibly feed maybe 900," said Rodgers.

A few miles down the road in the city of Lancaster, St. Anne's Catholic Church got into the holiday spirit for the 28th straight year.

Ted Dzubinski, the Christmas dinner chairman, said they had 80 volunteers on Christmas day to help.

"We'll serve about a total of...between carry-out, and deliveries and people sitting down anywhere between seven and eight hundred," said Dzubinski.

He also said they enjoy seeing some of the same faces that come to the meal.

"A lot of families have been coming here year after year, you kind of get to know them, actually and volunteers mingle with them, sit down with them," said Dzubinski.

For any information regarding social services during the holidays, such as finding a free meal, the United Way provides a 211 hotline to provide any assistance.