Restaurant feeding needy for Christmas

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 10, 2009

Every Christmas, there are people who don’t have visions ofsugar plums dancing in their heads, for the most part because theydon’t have the means or the family to have a traditional Christmasdinner.

A local restaurant and a neighboring portable building businessare going out of their way to make sure Christmas 2009 is specialfor everyone, no matter what their station in life.

Sharon Duke, owner of Munchies Restaurant at 1620 MonticelloSt., and her husband Glenn Duke, who owns the Graceland PortableBuildings business next door, decided this year to have a communityChristmas dinner for the needy, just to insure that everyone has afull stomach and a warm heart for the holidays.

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“People are going to eat if I have anything to do with it,”Sharon Duke said.

She said there are already people making plans to come to thedinner, and she wants to be able to keep the food coming untileveryone is fed.

“I know one family is coming that doesn’t have anything, afamily of seven,” she said. “I just feel like we need to do this,not just me, but everybody. A lot of people are going to have areal good Christmas, and others won’t have anything. It chokes meup just thinking about it.”

Duke said her family is in Pennsylvania and her husband’s familyis in Texas, and they will be doing their Christmas celebrationnext week. That opens up Christmas day to give to thecommunity.

“There are a lot of people with nowhere to go, people with nofamily, elderly people,” she said. “If they need to eat, we’lldeliver, or they can come to my cozy little restaurant. It’s notbig, but it’s warm.”

In addition, she said, the issue of the economy has a lot ofpeople in a bad place at Christmas time. Even if they can’t affordtheir own turkey and stuffing or ham and dressing, a joyful timecan be had at Munchies.

“With the way the world is right now, there’s a lot of peopleout there that won’t have Christmas this year,” Duke said.”Children are children and they still want Christmas. If I can giveback with food in their bellies … I don’t know how many arecoming, but they can have fun in my restaurant, and at least havefood.”

And yet, Duke said, to be able to pull the whole thing off, thelittle restaurant just outside of town needs a little help from thecommunity.

“We appreciate anything anyone can give us to help. Notnecessarily money, but we have had some donated,” she said. “Paperplates, ‘to go’ plates, plastic silverware, napkins, even just onecan of anything, just something to serve to someone who so they canhave a warm belly on Christmas.”

The Christmas meal will take place on Christmas day, from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., or until the food is gone, Duke said, and all theneedy of the Brookhaven and Lincoln County areas are invited.

“I said 11-4, but if there’s still food there and still peoplewho need to eat, we’ll go until it’s gone,” she said.

Organizers are asking that volunteers come out and sign up anddonations arrive at the restaurant or arrangements be made forpick-up by Dec. 21.

Anyone interested in helping can contact Sharon Duke at601-754-2530, or Munchies Restaurant at 601-833-8884.