On Monday, Samaritan Outreach Services had what its director, Wade Hamilton, called a banner day for services provided in the form of a holiday meal.
“For the first time in many years we offered Thanksgiving dinners to our clients,” said Hamilton. “At 6:45 a.m.there were already six cars waiting in the lot and by 9 a.m. there were over 100 people waiting in line. During the course of the day we handed out 398 Thanksgiving dinners and put a record 144 families through the food pantry.”
Hamilton said dinners included potatoes, carrots, onions, apples, green beans, cranberry sauce, cream of mushroom soup, brownie mix, gravy, raisins, and a chicken or ham depending on family size.
Traffic and parking were so congested in the morning that the Hillsboro police made themselves available to make sure people stayed safe in and around the busy intersection in front of the building, said Hamilton.
“The ladies from Stephanie’s Pet Salon, located across from Samaritan Outreach were kind enough to open up their field for parking and even stood out in the cold to help direct traffic into the lot,” said Hamilton.
Twenty-two volunteers and three staff members “worked tirelessly through the day to make sure dinners were handed out and families were taken through the food pantry in a timley manner,” Hamilton said.
Food for the dinners was provided through donated items and discounted purchases made from the Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati and the local Community Market store. In all, 500 will be handed out with a total cost of less than $500.
“This is the first time in quite a while Samaritan has been able to offer holiday dinners to our clients,” said Hamilton. “We’re really happy that we’ve been able to make this happen and hope that having the extra dinner supplies will ease financial burdens and stress for our clients through the holidays.”