Over 150 Enjoyed A Free Christmas Dinner In Edmonton

Free Christmas dinner in Edmonton
by Alberta

It’s Christmastime at The Salvation Army and every year that means a free community Christmas dinner in Edmonton. This year the popular event was held at Castledowns Church due to the LRT construction downtown. Even with the change in location, about 150 people enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings, served by about 15 festive volunteers.

 This was the first time the dinner was held at this location, and corps officer Major Carolyn Hale said that they had been asked by the community to host a meal, so putting on the event this year made sense. Free tickets were offered at their food bank, and they were all given out more quickly than they expected.

 “We could easily have given out a thousand tickets,” said Major Hale. “People were calling long after they were gone, so even if the Christmas dinner is back at our downtown location next year, we will likely keep doing this one due to the overwhelming response we received.”

 Organizers were unsure how the change in location would affect attendance, but they were pleasantly surprised.

“Having the dinner at Castledowns allowed for more of a program, rather than just a meal,” says Major Al Hoeft, Divisional Secretary for Public Relations. “We had carol singing, a live band, a reading of the Christmas story – just more opportunity for fellowship and building relationships with members of this community.”

 The Salvation Army is known for being a place where any person is welcome, where having a holiday meal together builds foundations with the community. For many, this may be their only Christmas dinner and The Salvation Army is blessed to be the place they feel welcome and safe.