“It’s all in God’s hands.”
Sandi Brown and the countless volunteers over the years have basically punted when it came to knowing how much food to prepare; will there be 100 or 1,000 for dinner?
“We’ve had no idea from year to year. It’s His plan and His will. And it’s always worked out,” said Brown, outreach coordinator for St. David’s Episcopal Church.
“Have there been times when we’ve run out of rolls or pie? Yes, but rarely.”
For the past 23 years, the annual Christmas Feast has welcomed thousands of area residents from all walks of life; the homeless and the needy, parishioners and friends, families and folks all alone.
“It’s a wonderful blend of people from our communities,” said Brown who has been involved from the start.
“We started very small in 1988, now, well last year we delivered 240 meals, served 300 in (church) hall and (as many) were take-home dinners. So it varies but 1,000 is average,” Brown said. “And if we do have anything leftover, we bring food to the (New London) Community Meal Center. Nothing is ever wasted.”
With more than 100 volunteers who have been working to get the feast ready for the past several weeks, diners enjoyed a meal of turkey, stuffing, vegetables, and pies and “much more.”
And after, children were able to select gifts including “a warm winter coat and new toy.”
And because this is a community event, the town's social service department and the fire and police department's toy drive was so successful, said Doris Fonner, assistant to the director of social services, "we had lots of leftover toys," so those were brought to St. David's to share with children at the feast.