15 almshouse signAfter a successful effort feeding the underprivileged of Hope Mills at Thanksgiving, the ALMS HOUSE in Hope Mills is gearing up to do the same thing for its annual Christmas Day dinner at noon on Dec. 25.

The ALMS HOUSE is located at 5512 West Patterson St. near the historic Trade Street district in downtown Hope Mills, just off the main intersection downtown near Hope Mills Lake and Dam.

Grilley Mitchell, program coordinator for the ALMS HOUSE love lunches program, recently sent out an email to various supporters of the ALMS HOUSE seeking donations of food to make the annual free giveaway of Christmas meals possible.

Mitchell noted the Thanksgiving project resulted in the serving of 110 meals with the help of some 20 to 25 servers who volunteered their time to help with the project. Unfortunately between the servers and the many guests, the situation became a little crowded and confusing, Mitchell wrote.

For the Christmas dinner, the carry-out meals will be made ahead of time and individual meals won’t be served with people standing in line. Anyone planning to donate uncooked items must drop them off at the ALMS HOUSE by Monday,
Dec. 23. Cooked or prepared items can be donated as late as the day of the dinner by 11 a.m.

The ALMS HOUSE will also be preparing care packages to give away. A variety of items are put in the care packs. They include the following: nonperishable food items like small cans of tuna, cereal bars, cheese and crackers, chicken salad kits, pull-top pasta, veggie chips, fruit cups, applesauce and fruit. Also included in the kits are personal items like soap, washcloths, disposable razors, deodorant, shaving cream and lotion, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush, mouthwash, small packs of laundry soap, tissues, ChapStick, wipes, sanitizer, band aids, nail clippers, pairs of socks and inspirational Bible verses.

The care packs are issued on Christmas Day. They are packed two days before distribution so all items for them should be delivered by Dec. 22.

As for the menu for the Christmas Dinner, following are specific items that are needed to prepare the meal, which consists of five 12-pound or more turkeys, four 10-pound or more hams, two large pans each of dressing/stuffing, 20 pounds of potato salad, two large pans of macaroni and cheese, two large pans of greens or green bean casserole, two large pans of sweet potatoes/yams, 20 cups of gravy, 10 cans of cranberry sauce, 80 dinner rolls, various desserts — including cakes, pies and cookies and assorted drinks, including iced tea and soft drinks.

“Thanks to everyone for your continued support,’’ Mitchell wrote. “We would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, and may the grace of God, his love, peace and blessings be with everyone.’’

Anyone wishing to donate to the Christmas Day dinner or the care packs can sign up at the Love Lunch table at the ALMS HOUSE. You can also email Mitchell at hopemillslovelunch@gmail.com or call him at 910-476-3719.