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29 years of Community Christmas Dinners

29 years of Community Christmas Dinners (Madeline Montgomery/WPDE)

What started with only 50 people has grown to a tri-county event that feeds around 7,500. So how much food does it take to feed thousands at the Community Christmas Dinner?

"6,800 pounds of turkey, 3,300 pounds of ham, 8,000 servings of dessert," said Janice Ash Sialiano.

Janice Sialiano works year round to make sure she has everything she needs to throw the Community Christmas Dinner.

"The people who come off the streets, they have a warm place to go, the food is amazing, we have tons and tons of clothes that are donated, toys for kids, Samaritan's Feet, we have shoes, brand new shoes to hand out," said Sialiano.

Sialiano started the dinner 29 years ago after Hurricane Hugo.

"We just felt like there were so many people who would not have a place to go for Christmas," said Sialiano.

"I certainly didn't want to be home alone, by myself," said Marvin Christiansen.

Christiansen came to his second dinner this year.

"I was here last year and enjoyed the fellowship at the table with strangers that I didn't know but we were friends when we left," said Christiansen.

The dinner happens in four different places to make sure people throughout the community have access to the event.

"It meets so many needs in the area at Christmas time. I wouldn't do anything else," said Sialiano.

The Community Christmas Dinner has a Facebook page where they accept donations year round.


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