WILLIAMSPORT — Ham? Check.
Mashed potatoes? Check.
A place to share the joy of Christmas with others? Check.
It was not just food but fellowship that was on the menu Sunday at a community Christmas dinner at Rehoboth United Methodist Church in Williamsport.
Free and open to “everyone and anyone,” the dinner was hosted by The Shepherd’s Table, a soup kitchen that holds regular community dinners on Thursday nights, organizer Bill Eckard said.
This was the sixth year The Shepherd’s Table hosted a Christmas dinner, Eckard said.
The idea is not only to help feed the hungry, but, especially on Christmas, to provide a place to go for people who might otherwise have spent the holiday alone.
“You never know,” Eckard said. “You might plant a seed and you might get someone to come to your church.”
Nick Nickoles, 65, of Huyett, said he attended the dinner because he is single had didn’t have family nearby to be with on Christmas.
“It was nice and convenient to me,” he said, adding that he had enjoyed the “great food and great service.”
Community volunteers prepared and served the food.
Among the youngest volunteers was 6-year-old Ethan Hennesy, who wore a Santa hat and festive apron to hand out oranges and candy canes to the guests.
Meanwhile, Brooke Cline, 9, was serving sauerkraut.
“It’s a good way to help the community, and if they need it and they can’t be with their family, this is a good way to help them out and give them a dinner,” she said.
Guests at the dinner were grateful for their service.
“It’s just good to know there’s still good people out there on this earth,” said Mark Harpine, 55, of Williamsport.