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Non-profit in Clare hosting free turkey dinner Christmas Eve

By Caitlin Snow Dec 18, 2023 | 2:52 PM

For a second year in a row, a free turkey dinner on Christmas Eve will return to Clare.

The initiative is led by Clare Share Fridge Communautaire, a non-profit that runs a free fridge and pantry system, to help combat and de-stigmatize food insecurity.

“We want to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for everyone, regardless of their circumstances,” says Shane Robicheau, President of Clare Share Fridge Communautaire and local chef and business owner. “This year has been difficult for many, so why not get together as a community to share a hearty meal for free?”

Individuals, businesses and community groups have rallied around the cause, with a goal to serve 500 meals.

It comes at a time of year when more than half of Nova Scotians feel they are worse off than they were a year ago, according to a 2023 study by Food Banks Canada.  A higher proportion than any other province in Canada.

In a news release, Nicole Thimot Gennette, Clare Share Fridge Communautaire Director and President of the Clare Food Bank Society, said she feels this every month when folks pick up their Food Bank boxes.

“With the rising cost of housing and utilities, there has been a 15 per cent increase in the number of families who rely on our service since last year,” she says. “We’ve also heard from some Clare Share users that our fridge-and-pantry system help them make ends meet on a week-to-week bases.”

Organizers say the meal is free for anyone who wishes to attend. There will be a full turkey dinner with dessert and coffee as well as live music. Donations are welcome but not mandatory.

New this year, there will be a drive-through service for those who want to take their meals to go. Free transportation is available upon request.

It will be on December 24, 11am to 1pm at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall (9704 Highway 1, Saulnierville).