Project Hope Prepares to Serve 26th Dinner
Project Hope of Easton will host annual holiday dinner Sunday at Our Lady of Lebanon Church.
For more than two decades, and without much fanfare, a group known as Project Hope of Easton -- no relation to ProJeCt of Easton -- has been feeding hundreds of needy local families.
On Sunday, the group will host its 26th dinner at Our Lady of Lebanon Church, Mayor Sal Panto announced Tuesday.
Panto invited representatives of the group to a news conference at City Hall to help them promote an event that's existed under the radar (the mayor didn't know about it until last year) since its inception 26 years ago.
"Every year, it kind of grew," said Steve Stirner, one of the organizers. "The first year, it was us taking dinner to shut-ins."
This year, they expect to serve at least 300 meals at the dinner, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. That's how many are signed up, but organizers expect to see more.
"We don't really make it a requirement to sign up, because we know many people don't have a way of signing up," said Project Hope's Judy Walker.
That isn't to say everyone who shows up for the dinner is living on the streets, Panto said. Some of them are people working low-wage jobs, and unable to provide Christmas gifts for their children.
"These are the working poor. These are needy people," Panto said.
In addition to food, people attending the dinners get a wrapped present for their children, a bag of groceries, and warm, gently used clothing.
Walker said it takes 75 volunteers and 35 donors to make the dinner happen. The group gets a lot of support from Easton Hospital, where her husband, Dr. Stanley Walker, practices.
The dinner began with Rose Theadford, a South Side resident who hosted it at her home, Dr. Walker said.
"She saw her kids rip through their presents and ask 'Now what?' And she said, 'You need to share,'" he said.
If you're interested in donating to the dinner, call Judy Walker at 610-905-9628. You can also visit the Project Hope of Easton website for more informaton on the dinner.