Community dinners set for Christmas Day 

  • Volunteer Cindy Burch of Ashfield, left, serves food to Leo Poprovo of Northampton on Dec. 25, 2017, during the MANNA Soup Kitchen’s Christmas dinner at Edwards Church in Northampton.

Staff Writer
Published: 12/14/2018 2:42:30 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Community dinners in both Northampton and Amherst, and meal deliveries in five local communities, will mean food and friendship for area residents on Christmas Day.

For the 13th time, MANNA Soup Kitchen in Northampton is putting on the free dinner in the city on Christmas from noon to 2 p.m. The meal is served in the downstairs fellowship hall at Edwards Church at 297 Main St.

Carl Erickson, president of MANNA’s board of directors, said the meal will feature turkey with numerous side dishes. Dessert will be an assortment of pies made or donated by schools and local businesses.

In addition, free meal deliveries from 10 to 11 a.m. will go to the homebound in Northampton, as well as the Florence and Leeds sections of the city, and in Easthampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Hatfield.

To receive home-delivered dinners, people should call Kim at 695-3514 weekdays and Saturdays through Dec. 22, leaving their name, street address, city or town, number of meals needed and a phone number to confirm these details.

Volunteer drivers should drop by Edwards Church’s side entrance between 9:30 and 10:30 on Christmas morning.

To volunteer at the meal or set up the dining hall, go to

Erickson said slots will fill up.

“For a lot of people it’s an annual tradition to go to the MANNA meal to volunteer or to drive meals to the homebound,” Erickson said.

MANNA took over running the Christmas meal from the Honor Court in 2006. MANNA serves 20,000 free meals throughout the year at both Edwards Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church.


In Amherst, Not Bread Alone at First Congregational Church at 165 Main St., will have a full Christmas dinner beginning at 1 p.m. The annual meal has been served since 1989.

Robert Stover, supervisor for the program at the Center for Human Development, said people are welcome to come early and spend the day at the site.

As with Northampton’s meal, the main course will be turkey prepared and served by area volunteers, as well as all the fixings.

This year, Stover said, the menu will also include pernil, the roast pork shoulder that is a tradition at Christmas in Latin America and countries in the Spanish Caribbean.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

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