Once again this year, thanks to the efforts of more than 50 volunteers and donations from local individuals, businesses and organizations, St. Benignus Catholic Church in Greenfield will offer free Christmas dinners to those in need on Christmas Day from 12 to 2 p.m.
Eric Zint, owner of Corner Health Mart Pharmacy in Greenfield, has been participating in the event for 20 years. “This event started in the early ’90s, and my dad was one of the people that helped get it going,” he said.
Zint said the event served about 600 meals last year. “Typically, we try to order enough food for 650 meals,” he said.
Each year on Christmas Eve, Community Market in Greenfield cooks the turkeys and hams for the dinner. “We order all of our food and all of our supplies from the Community Market here in town,” said Zint.
The meals consist of ham and turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and a roll. “We have a serving of coleslaw, and we buy a pre-made cranberry salad that’s really good, and then a piece of pie,” said Zint. The Miami Trace FFA also donates enough fruit for a piece to go along with each meal.
Volunteers for the event work in shifts out of the kitchen at the Greenfield Eagles building. From there the meals are delivered to homes and to the church for pick-up.
Zint said the cost of giving out the meals ranges from $2,000 to $2,500 each year. “It’s a big help to the community – really the surrounding community,” he said. “There is a homeless shelter in Hillsboro that we give food to, and we send some to all of the first responders, so it’s just a rewarding thing that really does help the community.”
Dinners can be picked up at the church at 218 S. Second St. in Greenfield or delivered anywhere in the Greenfield School District. To place an order or for questions, call Corner Health Mart Pharmacy at 937-981-2454.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.