The free Christmas dinners that have been provided by Mike and Pam Ginsberg at their LulaBelle’s restaurant for 21 years will be delivered a little earlier this year.
This is because the hams will be baked at Java Jive instead of LulaBelle’s, Mike Ginsberg explained.
“Hopefully, having the hams baked at Java Jive, we can begin delivering at 9 a.m.,” he said. So anyone volunteering to deliver the dinners will need to be at LulaBelle’s at 111 Bird St. at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Todd Lear and Dave Stewart will coordinate the deliveries, Ginsberg said. However, they do not need to be contacted prior to Christmas morning. “Just show up,” he said. “We don’t know how many people will show up,” but he is confident enough people will volunteer to complete the deliveries earlier than in previous years.
“It all seems to come together,” he added.
As usual, the Hannibal Nutrition Center will provide a list of people who regularly receive home-delivered meals and have requested the holiday meal, Ginsberg said.
In 2011 the restaurant delivered 550 dinners and served another 150 in the dining room, and the Ginsbergs expect similar totals this year.
Anyone who would like to help prepare the dinners, serve them to the people to come to the dining room or do the cleanup after all have been delivered and served are requested to call LulaBelle’s at (573) 221-6662, so the Ginsbergs will know who is helping this year. In 2011 approximately 60 volunteers were involved in the dinner.
The public is invited to contact the restaurant to have the dinners delivered, or people may come to LulaBelle’s between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Christmas Day to share their holiday dinner with others.
The traditional baked ham dinner will be served, Ginsberg said. The menu is baked ham, au gratin potatoes, green bean casserole, salad, rolls and a variety of desserts.
Willow Care Center is donating 300 of the needed 700 desserts, Ginsberg said, and he hopes the public will provide the remaining 400 servings of pies, cakes or other desserts, as they have in the past. The desserts need to be delivered on Christmas Eve.
Some local families have made helping with the Christmas dinner a holiday tradition, with their children helping through the years.
Providing the free dinner is the result of many people helping, Ginsberg said, including “several people who help a great deal with their contributions. ... It’s a voluntary effort. We just try to coordinate it.”