Organizers with the annual Neosho Community Christmas Dinner are gearing up for the event, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 25, at the Civic and is sponsored by KNEO Radio 91.7 FM. The dinner is free of charge.

The Neosho Daily News caught up with Roberta Foster, event coordinator.

NDN: Who is the dinner open to?

Foster: We invite people in the Neosho area to come and share dinner with their neighbor. Jesus Christ has instructed us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves and we want to share Jesus’ love with others. That’s why KNEO has been involved in this dinner since 2007. Every year, we have people come that would otherwise be alone for Christmas, can’t afford a big Christmas dinner or simply love the variety of food that is served and the fellowship. The dinner is free and no one is turned away. If anyone within the city area of Neosho is homebound and needs a meal delivered, please call Roberta at 451-5636 by Monday, Dec. 23.

NDN: What will transpire that day?

Foster: Our menu will consist of turkey, ham and chicken along with all the trimmings. The food is prepared under the direction of Brenda McGilvray. We have asked local churches to provide various salads, pies and cakes. They do a wonderful job of supplying a huge variety of food and this year we will have specific sugar free cakes and pies.  Each diner also receives a goodie bag and a gift or two. We will have Christmas music provided by individuals and CDs.

NDN: How many people are you expecting?

Foster: We are expecting to serve about 550 people.

NDN: Are you seeking volunteers to help that day?

Foster: We have volunteer opportunities that begin on Tuesday, Dec. 24, with the food preparation and set up of the Civic. On Christmas day, volunteers start showing up at 6 a.m., and it continues until the last crumb is cleaned up. We definitely need the help of our community to make this work. We need helpers serving, preparing, greeting, and a variety of other tasks. Last year, we had about 100 volunteers. It really helps us to have volunteers assigned before Christmas day. To volunteer, please call me at 451-5636 by Dec. 23.

NDN: If someone wants to send either money or food, when do they need to do that by?

If anyone would like to send a monetary donation toward the expenses of the meal, they can send their gift to KNEO Radio, 10827 E. Hwy. 86, Neosho, 64850 and mention the community Christmas dinner in the memo. We would also accept donation of hams, oranges, and apples. We need these items brought to KNEO Radio by Friday, Dec. 20.