• 79°

St. Paul Lutheran Church hosts Christmas with Dignity

Volunteers gathered on Center Street next to St. Paul Lutheran Church to help with Christmas with Dignity on Saturday in Ironton.

Volunteers gathered on Center Street next to St. Paul Lutheran Church to help with Christmas with Dignity on Saturday in Ironton.

Food provided to 500 families

Louise Kelley was the first person to come through the St. Paul Lutheran Church food pantry seven years ago.

She has volunteered at the church ever since for its monthly food pantries and the annual Christmas with Dignity, which took place on Saturday.

“The food pantry was mentioned in the paper and a friend of mine said she was coming through. At that time I wasn’t well,” Kelley said. “It was a joy coming in here and so I started volunteering each month. I like the fellowship with the members of the church and being with others.”

This year, 500 food boxes were given away to needy families at Christmas with Dignity, containing frozen food such as meat and vegetables to generally last a family three days with three meals a day. Each box of food costs the church $30.

“We work with Lutheran Social Services and All Saints Lutheran Church in Worthington to put this together,” pastor Wayne Rollins said. “Folks signed up for it three or four weeks ago.”

Besides the box of frozen food, the Lutheran Social Services Mobile Food Pantry delivered produce and bread to be given away as well.

“Christmas with Dignity has been around for 12 years down here,” Mark McPherson, manager of the Lutheran Social Services Mobile Food Pantry, said. “But in February next year, it will be seven years since we started delivering food for pantries and Christmas with Dignity.”

People receiving food lined up at one end of church and checked in, while volunteers got shopping carts ready with the food boxes and produce at the other end to take to cars on the way out.

Kelley said it’s a joy coming to the church to help out with Christmas with Dignity, as well as the regular monthly food pantries.

“At Christmas with Dignity, I see a lot of older people and my heart goes out to the elderly,” she said. “A lot of them don’t have much coming in.”

Besides Kelley, members of the St. Paul Lutheran Church, All Saints and the community volunteered to make Christmas with Dignity possible.