Few things exemplify the spirit of the Christmas season quite like the free Community Christmas Dinner offered every year. The Dinner is back this year with one notable change – it will be held in a different location. The annual tradition goes back eight years, originally held in Leslie Hall. The unavailability of Leslie Hall meant a location change to the St. John’s United Church. With St. John’s now unavailable this year, the event will be held at the First Christian Reformed Church, located at 2457 County Road 18, just west of Kemptville town limits. The location change has been a source of confusion for some, but rest assured that it is the same annual Community Christmas Dinner that has been known to North Grenville residents for years.
The annual free dinner is not affiliated with any particular church or organization. It is a community effort, run by local volunteers and made possible by donations of food. One of the unwritten “rules” of the yearly event is that credit for making it happen should not go to specific individuals, but rather to the community as a whole. Anyone who orders a dinner for takeout or delivery will get one. In the true spirit of Christmas, there are no qualifying criteria, and no questions asked. The fact that the meals are provided for free is only made possible by the contributions of local residents and businesses, which shows without a doubt what kind of community North Grenville really is.
The free meal consists of a full turkey dinner and desserts. It was originally conceived of as a way to bring Christmas joy to those who may otherwise be eating alone on Christmas Day. Another motivation behind starting the tradition was to allow people from the community an opportunity for some Christmas conversation. Pandemic concerns have kept the event as a takeout and delivery meal for another year, but the spirit of giving and community is not diminished.
Those interested in sharing in the free meal should call or email ahead to order. About 250 meals were served last year. It is not too late to order! Call 613-223-3979 or email [email protected].