NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 8, 2012

'Gift of Giving' slated for Dec. 22

SEABROOK — No one should feel lonely during the holidays, and some businesses and volunteers are again coming together to offer a free holiday dinner from 3 to 7 p.m. at Seabrook’s Community Center on Saturday, Dec. 22, to ensure no one does.

There are no state or town borders during the winter holidays, according to Chad and Jennifer Luby, owners of The Butcher Shop, Fish Market and Restaurant on Route 1 in Hampton Falls, who have spearheaded the dinner for the past five years. All are welcome at the event known as the Gift of Giving. Come, they urge, and share the good food and sense of camaraderie that could be missing in some households.

“You don’t have to be homeless to come,” Chad Luby said. “Some people don’t have family in the area. Some people are alone, especially the elderly, and we don’t want people to just open up a can of soup. We want them to come and enjoy the meal and share in the holiday spirit with us at the Gift of Giving.”

“The holidays can be a very sad time for some people,” Jennifer Luby added. “We want people to know -- like parents who are having a hard time providing for their families -- that this is a place where they can come and get a bit of love for the holidays.”

In years past, as many as 300 people have dropped in over the day and enjoyed a place to break bread with others, some old friends, some new.

The free meal was the idea of Jennifer Luby in 2008, her husband said. She’s always wanted to help people, he said, and since he had the skills and the platform at the Butcher Shop, the project took off, initially by collecting small donations of food and other needed items from dozens of people and businesses in the region.

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