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Volunteers in Augusta provide meals on Christmas

Meals prepped by volunteers
Meals prepped by volunteers(wabi)
Published: Dec. 25, 2020 at 4:33 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Christmas meals for those in need were distributed this morning in Augusta.

”Over a hundred pounds of potato. 24 turkeys, six cases of peas, six cases of carrots.” Volunteer head cook Keith Priest rattled off the impressive quantity of donated food they were preparing.

Volunteers efficiently prepared meals Christmas morning at the South Parish Congregational Church in Augusta. The event is a decades old tradition.

“This year’s a lot different.” said Priest. “Normally this room you see here is full of tables with 130 people sitting down, eating.”

Instead 240 meals were sent out for delivery, with another 260 available to anyone for curbside pickup.

“The hardest part is seeing the kids that come that don’t have a meal. That pulls at your heartstrings a little bit.”

Many volunteers, like brothers Jacob and Hunter Proul, wouldn’t miss the chance to help out.

“I don’t remember a time that we didn’t do this.” said Jacob. “We’ve been coming to this church or what used to be called Prince of Peace we would always go and help serve meals.”

“It’s nice to focus on helping other people.” added Hunter.

The brothers loaded boxes of food into the waiting vehicle of Joanie and Paul Rhoda, ready to deliver the meals.

“We started in 1994 doing it.” said Joanie. And I think we’ve done it every year since then.”

“Yeah we have!” chimed Paul.

They say helping out by delivering meals to those in need provides balance to the tradition of exchanging gifts with family.

“We really needed to do something for others and this just fits the bill perfectly.” said Joanie.

“Christmas is about giving.” said Jacob. “Not really about receiving. So it gives a good feeling and a good start to the day especially to get you off on the right foot knowing you helped a lot of people.”

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