Volunteers come out in numbers to make Christmas dinner a success

Mustard Seed Street Church and Food Bank hosts pre-Christmas dinner

More than 100 volunteers took part in helping to create a Christmas meal for 700 on Sunday.

“They really rally for such a big event, so it’s really great to have them,” said Rev. Chris Riddell, executive director of the Mustard Seed Street Church and Food Bank.

Riddell has been involved with the organization since 1989. Over that time, he’s seen the Christmas dinner grow in magnitude.

“I’ve also seen an increase in the willingness of the community to support, and come alongside with us at the dinner,” he said.

For the fifth year in a row, chef Ryan Orr of Clayoquot WIlderness Resort, will lead the volunteers to prepare the meal, comprising nearly 1,000 kilograms of food.

This year’s Christmas dinner, help in two seatings at the Bay Street Armoury Nov. 27, sold out.

The tickets are free, but are distributed in advance.

“We’ve had to turn a number of people away,” Riddell said, who estimates the demand for tickets would easily exceed 900.

In the past, the Armoury accommodated more people, but new fire regulations limit the number served to 700.

“Fortunately, we do offer other meal opportunities, but this meal is very special for a lot  (of people).”

Every items required to serve the dinner is provided by 32 sponsors.