Chicopee – Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry is currently seeking donations to help fund their annual Christmas lunch held on Christmas Day at the kitchen. Last year, the kitchen saw over 100 people on Christmas Day and even had two seatings to accommodate the large crowds. In attendance was a mother of five children who had recently been displaced by a house fire. She requested to remain anonymous, but told Lorraine’s executive director Andrea Marion that having a meal on Christmas Day meant the world to her kids despite the fact that they had recently lost everything.
Putting on a holiday meal with two seatings for over 100 people is no small task. The kitchen spends one week preparing for the day, including peeling potatoes, decorating the dining room, and ordering enough ham to feed everyone. This year’s cost to host dinner is expected to rise with the increasing amount of people in need on Christmas Day. Marion and her team are anticipating a 25% increase in attendance. “We are asking the community for donations during the month of December to help us fund the meal,” says Marion who also indicated that the cost per person is almost $5.00. “We are looking for any help we can get this month so that we can put on a Christmas meal that is festive and filling, something we all have the right to experience.”
Marion also goes on to explain that financial donations to the kitchen can be stretched much farther than actual food donations due to the ability of the kitchen to obtain food at deep discounts through wholesalers and government subsidized programs. “It sounds counterintuitive to not give food to a food pantry, but we are able to leverage monetary donations to obtain food at .19 cents per pound, including nutritious food staples and even fresh produce,” Marion says.
Lorraine’s also launches their Annual Appeal this month which will help to continue funding operations at Lorraine’s throughout the year including providing emergency groceries to over 6% of Chicopee’s population. The Annual Appeal accounts for roughly 15% of total donations for the year. If you or someone you know is in need of a meal on Christmas Day, lunch is served between 11:30am-1:00pm at Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry located at 170 Pendexter Avenue in Chicopee. To donate to Lorraine’s this holiday season, or to sign up as a Christmas Day volunteer please visit their website at LorrainesSoupKitchen.com or call 413-592-9528.