Christmas will be twice as nice for those in need with a free Christmas dinner at lunch time Dec. 25 at Salvation Army and another held at supper time at The Mustard Seed.
In 2016, both meals were held around supper time.
Last year was the first Christmas for The Mustard Seed in Red Deer. The organization took over from Loaves and Fishes, which didn’t serve a Christmas meal.
Byron Bradley, The Mustard Seed executive director, said just a small group came out for its dinner last year, but the word is now out and meals won’t compete this year after the organizations worked together.
“We just want to complement others. If people want to hit both they’re more than welcome,” Bradley said.
He said in other communities, The Mustard Seed has always provided meals on Dec. 25, and the tradition has arrived in Red Deer. The meal is sponsored by Digitex of Red Deer.
“We won’t turn anyone away. We are a dry and clean facility so as long as people are clean they are welcome to come in,” Bradley said.
On Dec. 25, The Mustard Seed, at 6002 54th Ave., is open from 12 to 6 p.m. Games and family-friendly activities start at 1 p.m. as well as a Christmas movie. A roast turkey dinner will be served from 4 to 6 p.m.
On Monday, The Mustard Seed started its Eight Days of Christmas and will be open from 12 to 7 p.m. Dec. 20, 22, and 23 with activities, a movie and supper. Dec. 21 it will be open from 12 to 3 p.m. with lunch activities and a movie. It’s open Dec. 24 from 12 to 6 p.m. for an ugly Christmas sweater party, a Christmas movie with appetizers for supper.
Salvation Army, at 4837 54th St., will host dinner Dec. 25 from 12 to 1:30 p.m.
Potters Hands has already held five Christmas meals this month. Another is scheduled for Dec. 24 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at 4935 51st St.