Wheatland hosts free Christmas dinner

Platte County Record Times file Melissa Grimes brought her daughter, Olivia, to the Community Christmas Dinner for her first Christmas.  

 WHEATLAND – For some, Christmas is when families come together to have a festive holiday dinner. For others, family is too far away or there just isn’t anyone else. Christmas can seem like any other day. A quiet dinner at home. But it doesn’t have to be that way for anyone in Platte County. For the third year in a row, there will be a free dinner at the 4-H building on Christmas Day from 2 to 5 p.m. 

Lanay Meyer of Pin Tin Bakery and Catering will be preparing the meal of brisket, ham, cheesy potatoes, some green beans and corn, salad, fresh rolls with desserts provided by members of local churches. 

“I’m cooking for 300, mostly on my own, I prefer it that way. It’s so much easier to cook for large quantities than small. I enjoy it and it becomes second nature after a while when you know the ingredients you need,” Meyer explained. “My family helps too, my husband and four kids. They help make rolls and load up the food, get it there and set it up and then we come back for the clean-up.” 

The project began when Meyer and the parishioners of St. Patrick’s wished to have some sort of community meal. Thanksgiving was proposed, but Christmas Day worked out better. It has been well attended and carry out is very popular and encouraged for those who can’t make it out. The food is paid for by donations from businesses, individuals and churches. Volunteers from the county help to serve and clean up. 

“The most rewarding, in the end, is knowing you’re helping out people. There are a lot of under-privileged that don’t get a full dinner,” Meyer said. “The community has been really appreciative. Generous, grateful, they don’t come to take advantage, they come to share, visit and celebrate Christmas as a community.” 

Everyone is welcome – residents, travelers, visitors – the more the merrier, as the saying goes. If you need transportation to the dinner, call Rod Birkle at (307) 331-1573. If you are unable to attend, but would like a plate delivered to you, call (307) 699-0947. 

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