For the third consecutive year, the Menifee Christmas Dinner program will provide Christmas dinner to families in need, area homeless, and those who simply need a warm place to go on Christmas day. For the next month, dozens of volunteers will help collect, coordinate, plan, and ultimately put together food, gifts, and holiday cheer for hundreds of people.
The outreach was created to teach children the spirit of giving during Christmas and has grown each year in its ability to serve more and more people. Menifee Christmas Dinner provides a hot meal and gifts and activities for children on Christmas day, as well as delivered meals and gifts to local families, and also feeding the homeless.
Last year approximately 50 families received home deliveries and this year they hope to increase that number to 75. On Christmas Day, 100 meals were prepackaged for people to take home, and this year their goal is to double that number to 200. They served just over 300 hot meals on Christmas day, and this year they are aiming to feed at least 350 people.
In feeding the homeless last year, volunteers found there could have been a lot more meals delivered. This year the plan is to collect sleeping bags, both new and used, and create care packages, including toiletries and essentials to give to the homeless along with a hot holiday meal.
Last year’s primary funding came from a very generous donation of almost $3,000 from Texas Roadhouse. This year, Menifee Christmas Dinner is still looking for corporate sponsors and any large donations to help cover the cost of the frozen turkey breasts for the delivered meals.
Food and toy drives will begin this weekend and will continue weekly until Christmas. Food drives will take place every Tuesday through Thursday, starting next week, from 5 to 8 p.m. each night at the Ralph’s at Antelope and Newport as well as at the Albertson’s on Scott Road. The toy drive will start this weekend and will be held every Saturday and Sunday across from the Countryside Marketplace from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How you can help: Numerous volunteer opportunities, including food and toy drives, delivering meals, serving, setting up and cleaning up. Donations including nonperishable food, prepared hot food, toys, gifts, and monetary contributions.
If you know of a family or individual in need who could benefit from any of these services, or if your own family could use some assistance, please message Menifee Christmas Dinner directly through their Facebook page, or contact the program director, Jimmy Canales, at 951-852-1668 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Menifee Christmas Dinner
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Marion Ashley Community Center
25625 Briggs Road, Menifee