ASHTABULA — Christmas will be a littler brighter for 300 families thanks to the efforts of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

A long line of people were waiting outside the church doors at 5 p.m. when the Christmas dinner supplies distribution began on Friday evening.

“It is very overwhelming. I am very excited and happy,” said Michelle Pruchasky of Ashtabula as she walked from table to table as volunteers put different parts of a Christmas dinner in her bag.

Julie Clayman, director of the church’s food pantry, said church members start talking to Giant Eagle about bulk buying opportunities that reduce the cost of the meals.

“It is something we start working on in October,” she said. “Today it is a stuffed pork, side dish of green beans, pie and dinner roles and a gravy mix.”

The church has sponsored the event for four years, Clayman said.

“It gets better every year,” she said.

The supplies are collected to feed six people each so as many as 1,800 people could benefit from the work of the church and many volunteers who don’t even go to the church.

“It’s good,” said Rich Tredway of Ashtabula.

Father Peter Nielsen III said the outreach is worthwhile because 300 families now have the opportunity to reach out to others and share the love that was extended to them.

Nielsen also provided blessings for those who requested.

“Just to invite the Holy Spirit (for the people) to experience peace and joy they might no have had otherwise,” he said.


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