BALDWIN — The Men of Purpose and the Bread of Life Food Pantry based out of St. Ann's Catholic Church are once more combining their efforts to try and ensure everyone in Lake County can have a merry Christmas.

The two groups, both of which are very active in helping those in need in this community, will be hosting a free meal from 1 to 3 p.m. on Christmas Day at the St. Ann's Senior Center in Baldwin.

"We're reaching out and bringing the community together because we need to work together to help one another," said pastor Everett Bowen of the Men of Purpose. "Our goal is a strong feeling of community for everyone and part of that is to make sure on one is alone on the holiday."

There also will be take-out meals available for those who cannot attend or do not wish to attend the meal at the senior center. There is still no cost, but organizers request anyone who wishes to order a take out meal request it by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24. They may do so by calling Sandy Bowen at (231) 250-0981.

Although the meal will take place at the senior center, everyone is welcome. First responders are also invited to join in or order a take-out meal to give them some Christmas cheer while working on the holiday.

The two groups have been working together on meal programs during the past year. They recently collaborated on a similar meal hosted on Thanksgiving Day.

"Our collaboration has turned out great," remarked Bowen. "We each have so much we can do to help each other and in the end it's all about coming together and community."

There also will be Christmas music performed during the meal by Melissa Ministries, to help spread some holiday cheer around.

The meals are always done on the actual holiday because the people the event is primarily targeted at are those who may not have anyone else to celebrate with. By hosting a large meal together, this way everyone in Lake County can have someplace to go and a group of people to celebrate with on Christmas Day.

"It doesn't matter who you are, everyone is invited," remarked Bowen. "Christmas is open to everybody and so is this meal."

The menu for the Men of Purpose and Bread of Life Christmas meal is as follows:

  • Ham
  • Mashed potatoes with gravy
  • Scalloped corn
  • Green bean casserole
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Rolls
  • Desert
  • Assorted beverages