Christmas dinner for 700 on menu today | NevadaAppeal.com
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Christmas dinner for 700 on menu today

by Kurt Hildebrand
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal David Eiswert dumps potatos into a shopping cart as he daughter Emily, 7, watches at FISH Saturday morning.
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More than 700 people will begin visiting Friends In Service Helping today to pick up ingredients for a Christmas dinner.

The charity had 689 applications by Friday and expected more to come in before sign-ups closed, according to director Monte Fast.

He said there aren’t enough turkeys for all the dinners, but that large roasting chickens will be substituted in dinners for couples.

“We had a huge increase in demand this year,” he said. “There were 498 dinners last year, and we are sending out invitations to 700 families this year.”

A turkey drop held last week to come up with additional birds generated about 400 donations. But because the demand for turkeys at Thanksgiving increased, there won’t be enough to go around.

“We had to dig into our Christmas money to keep Thanksgiving going,” Fast said. “But the roasting chickens are fresh and really good. They should provide the couple with all they can eat and leftovers for a couple of days.”

Youth groups from Capital Christian Center and St. Paul Lutheran Family loaded all the fixings into paper bags on Saturday in preparation for today’s distribution.

“These youth are very experienced setting up these bags,” Fast said. “They put together an assembly line and load stuffing, pumpkin pie, fresh potatoes, cranberry sauce and vegetables into brown paper bags.”

“The bags line our halls and fill up our storage space,” he said. “There is just this big sea of these bags waiting for families to show up.”

Volunteers will distribute the dinners.

“The line at 9 a.m. will be at our door and well past the tavern,” Fast predicted. “It gets a little shorter as the day progresses. Distributing the material is really hard work for the volunteers, but their attitude is really great.”

Contact Kurt Hildebrand at 881-1215 or hildebrand@nevadaappeal.com.