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New Community Shelter providing free Christmas meals to those in need

New Community Shelter
Posted at 10:02 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 11:27:10-05

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The holidays can be a difficult time for those who are facing food insecurity or those who may be spending it alone. That’s why one local shelter is making sure that nobody goes unfed this holiday season. 

New Community Shelter serves free dinner 365 days a year and also serves lunches on holidays and weekends. The meal program is run by over 1,000 volunteers. 

“Our community meal program serves not only the people that reside in this building but anyone in the community that may need a meal,” said community meal coordinator Janet Vandreel.

New Community Shelter

The shelter serves anywhere from 200 to 250 meals every dinner and 175 to 200 meals every lunch. Vandreel says demand for the meals has only grown amid the pandemic.

“Sometimes we have people that are elderly and they come for more of the companionship, we have people where there's the stop gap, where they need to decide that month do we pick up a prescription or do we buy a gallon of milk?” Vandreel said.

But there’s one time of year where the meals at the shelter are especially appreciated. The shelter serves both lunch and dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For the first time this year, community members can dine in or take meals to go.

The shelter started serving to-go meals during the pandemic and Vandreel says the number of meals they served quickly rose as people began picking up meals for their family and friends.

New Community Shelter

"Our meals increased by three times overall so we were serving anywhere from 350 to 450 meals a night," Vandreel said.

For many, the Christmas meals New Community Shelter are the only thing that keeps them from spending the holidays alone. Meal supervisor Emme Vandreel says the staff have developed relationships with many of the community members who frequently visit the shelter. For those who don’t have family to spend Christmas with, the shelter gives them a place where they can feel at home.

“They’re really grateful for it because some of the people here don’t have families that live here," Emme said. "So it’s kind of like their family, at the end of the day we’re family for them.”

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, lunch at New Community Shelter will be served at from 11:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m and dinner will be served from 5 p.m to 6 p.m.