WALLINGFORD — Families, volunteers and those who would otherwise spend the holiday alone joined together during the 38th annual Wallingford Community Easter Dinner.
As they enjoyed a meal including ham, potatoes and apple pie, many who didn’t know each other before Sunday shared stories about their lives in the basement of First Congregational Church.
“It brings the whole community together,” said dinner organizer Sonya Wulff. “It really is a sense of community and belonging … it really provides that.”
The same group of volunteers also organizes a community dinner on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Wallingford resident Marybeth Abis said she started bringing her family a few years ago for the welcoming atmosphere. Along with enjoying the meal, they also made Easter place mats.
“It’s really nice to be around a happy group of people,” she said.
Bettina Cristini, another organizer, enjoys watching people enjoy the food and conversation.
“We call it God’s Community Dinner,” she said. “We want to make it feel like home.”
The volunteers served 140 people at the church and delivered 125 meals to the homebound. Often a volunteer will also visit when they deliver a meal.
“For some of these people, they want the person who delivers to sit with them,” she said. “That may be the only person they see all week.”
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