First United Methodist Church of Waxahachie will be serving a free Christmas dinner to members. The meal will take from noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 25.

Those who wish to come to the meal at the church, pick up a meal or have meals delivered to them at their home have to register by calling the church office. Registration for the meal started on Monday and ends at 4 p.m. on Friday.

“The First United Methodist Church, every year, feeds about 800 people in Waxahachie and Ellis County. It is free food. It is mostly for people who need a meal and don’t have place to go on Christmas. We do deliver up to six per family,” FUMC's event publicity chairwoman Jane Ann Shipp said. “My favorite part is being able to go in on Christmas Eve morning and on Christmas morning and being able to help cook and serve and just know that I am just doing one little part to touch the community.”

The menu for the meal will include ham, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, rolls and a dessert. Diabetics will have the option of a sugar free dessert.

Shipp said the meal takes hundreds of volunteers to put on each year, with helpers serving in many roles such as cooking, delivering meals and cleaning up.

“We need lots of volunteers. I would say 100-plus volunteers. We have volunteers to help cook, people that help clean. We have people who help set up and people that actually come in that are drivers that deliver the meals. So it is quite an assembly line that is going on to serve that many people,” Shipp said. “We do need volunteers that are willing to come in either Christmas Eve morning from about 8 a.m. to noon or Christmas day. What we do on the day before is we prepare the Green Bean Casserole, the sweet potatoes; we layer the ham in all of the pans. We do most of the prep work on the day before. Then on Christmas morning we do the mashed potatoes and the hot rolls. Then we do all of the assembly on Christmas morning. By the time noon rolls around we are ready to begin to serve.”

Shipp said everyone is welcome to come out to the church to enjoy a meal. The meal will be served in the FUMC's Family Life Center, which is located on the back portion of the church’s campus.

For more information about the meal, to make a reservation or to volunteer the church office can be reached at 972-937-4400. First United Methodist Church at Waxahachie is located at 505 W. Marvin Ave.

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