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February 28, 2014

Ti free dinners begin fourth year

Program has served more than 5,500 meals in three years

TICONDEROGA — In three years of offering free community dinners in Ticonderoga, organizers have served more than 5,500 meals.

The Free Community Dinner Program at the First United Methodist Church in Ticonderoga began its fourth year in January, with about 90 diners on Super Bowl Sunday.

“Many faithful volunteers have added to the continued success of the program,” organizer Joan Viault said by email.

“There is always plenty of good food, conversation and laughter enjoyed by all in the church fellowship hall at the monthly fellowship dinners.”

The organizers of the church program are Penny Mason, Joan Viault, Lori Fox and Beth Hanley.

The free community dinner is usually held on the first or second Sunday each month. A free-will offering is appreciated but is entirely up to those who come, Viault said.

The menu varies among dishes like chicken cacciatore and pasta, chicken and biscuits and meatloaf.

The dinners are funded by donations and offerings and have become very popular in the community, Mason said.

“We hope many more will join us this year,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll reach 20,000 before too many more years.”

The next Free Community Fellowship Dinner at the First United Methodist Church in Ticonderoga will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 2. A chicken cordon bleu casserole dinner will be served, complete with vegetables, desserts and beverages. 

The church is located at 1045 Wicker St. in Ticonderoga, up the hill from the Moses Circle Monument.

Child-friendly meals and takeouts are also available, as are high chairs and booster seats for little ones who dine in.

Fox said everyone at the church gets involved in preparation and serving of the free meals.

“The youth of our church are also helping in many ways with the dinners, especially by busing tables,” she said. “They’re eager, and they’re learning to help where they can.”

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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