Carolyn Noel stood in the lobby of the Pershing Square building in Greensburg, holding three Christmas lunch bags for herself and her neighbors, courtesy of the First Presbyterian Church of Greensburg.
Noel was grateful for the meal delivered by church volunteers on Christmas morning for those who could not come down for their dinner.
âIt’s sad. They’re locked up and can’t get out,â Noel said.
âIt’s very kind of them to do that. I can’t do it, âsaid Mary Davis, a resident of Pershing Square, who uses a wheelchair to get around due to a foot injury.
The Christmas Day meal has been a First Presbyterian Church tradition for about 20 years, said Kim Stoner, church secretary. The initiative is supported by donations from members and non-members of the First Presbyterian Church.
Noel, Davis and about 25 of his neighbors in Pershing Square, a building populated by the elderly, were among nearly 600 people who received the special Christmas Day dinner of ham, au gratin potatoes, and green beans. , candied carrots, a fruit cocktail and bread rolls. and cake. Meals were provided by a contingent of volunteers who ordered the food, cooked it and delivered it.
One of the many volunteers, Sharyn Sekora from Salem, said she was available and wanted to help. She helped with meal preparation and food delivery.
âThey needed a lot of people to make this work,â she said. âWe offer those who don’t have much a hot meal.
Hannah Howarth from Hempfield said she looks forward to helping others in the community.
âWe wanted to be a part of it,â said Howarth, who was joined by her sisters Savannah Treasure from Hempfield and Sarah Arnaudov from Greensburg.
Scott Sucke, who oversaw the Christmas initiative, said two teams of volunteers – 15 per team – donated their time on Christmas Day to help serve those who did not have meals. Another group of volunteers traveled around the Greensburg-Latrobe area to deliver meals to those who could not make it to church.
Holly Hallman, who led the meal deliveries, said about 125 meals have been delivered to individual residences. Groups of meals were delivered to seniors in apartment buildings in the Greensburg area.
Recipients who received a meal as part of the church’s second supper program each month were notified in November of the option to register for a meal on Christmas Day.
Meal preparation began on Thursday and Friday. Sucke said he started at 4 a.m. on Christmas Day, preparing the 18 hams and other foods. Due to the covid pandemic, meals were delivered or recipients were able to collect them. Unlike in previous years, no one was allowed to sit at a table and have a meal in the church hall.
The church prepared about 100 more meals this year than last year. Sucke said he believed it was the result of the covid pandemic and the recent spike in new cases.
âThere is definitely an impact of covid, especially for senior residences (apartments) – Penn (Towers) and Pershing (Square),â in Greensburg who are concerned about being exposed to covid, Sucke said.
Late afternoon leftover food was delivered to Greensburg Police, Mutual Aid Ambulance Service in Greensburg, and set aside for the Three County Meals on Wheels, based in southwestern Greensburg.