NORWICH – The Bandera Family Christmas Dinner is returning to Norwich for the second time, and with 1,200 meals planned for area residents. The organization is seeking volunteers to help make this year another success.
According to Bandera family representative Bill Bandera, in 1989 his family wanted to do something to show their community that they cared, and at that time the Christmas dinner concept was born.
Bandera said since 1989, the Bandera Family and Community Alliance has served a Christmas dinner in Binghamton, free and open to anyone in need of a meal or company for the holiday, with the organization expanding to Norwich last year. Bandera added that last year the organization served 3,500 meals on Christmas Day.
He said this year the event will return to Norwich, with free delivery options available as well as a sit-down location from 1 to 4 p.m. on Christmas Day, at American Legion Post 189 for residents of Chenango County. He added that next year they hope to expand to the Oneonta area as well.
“This isn’t just about the people you serve, it’s also about you,” said Bandera. “Everyone matters, you’re just showing the people that they matter to the community as well.”
“The food is just a vehicle to fuel social interaction, and our service is a form of love that never fails.”
Everyone at the event gets a meal, volunteers and attendees alike, he said.