DeKALB – Scott Morrow thinks everyone should have the chance to have a merry Christmas.
For the seventh year in a row, Morrow and his family will offer a free holiday dinner for those in need at their restaurant, Flippin Eggs, 831 S. Fourth St. in DeKalb. This year’s dinner will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23.
“The dinner is for those in need, which could mean they don’t have a lot of money to spend at Christmas or it could mean they don’t have family around to celebrate with,” Morrow said.
The restaurant will close at 3 p.m. that day, Morrow said, and reopen for the dinner at 4. Diners will have a choice of a ham or spaghetti dinner, with sides and dessert. The dinner is cooked and served by volunteers, some of whom are on the restaurant’s staff.
Feed’em Soup will also offer a holiday meal this year. The meal will be served from 2 to 5 p.m. on Christmas Day, Tuesday, Dec. 25, at the group’s headquarters, 122 S. First St. in DeKalb.
“Anybody is welcome,” Feed’em Soup Executive Director Derek Gibbs said. “We’ll be serving bottom round roast with mashed potatoes and gravy and all the fixings.”
Feed’em Soup operates on a pay-what-you-can basis; those who cannot pay for their meal can eat for free. Those who can afford to make some kind of freewill donation can do so.
“The clothing closet will be open, the transportation shuttle will be running and we’ll have activities for the kids,” Gibbs said.
Morrow can’t say for sure what activities might be available at the Flippin Eggs dinner. Last year, he said, a group of carolers showed up unannounced and serenaded the diners. An elf in costume visited with children, and a parent set up a table for children’s crafts and games.
“We don’t organize everything,” Morrow said. “We organize the event, but sometimes people come in with their own ideas and contribute.”
The restaurant collects donated gifts in the days and weeks leading up to the dinner, with the intention that every diner will receive a present. Last year, the dinner served more than 150 people and collected more than 400 gifts. Food and gifts left over at the end of the meal were donated to Safe Passage domestic violence shelter and Hope Haven homeless shelter.
As of Sunday, with only a week to go before the dinner, Morrow said only 25 gifts had been donated this year. Donors should wrap gifts and each gift should be labeled to indicate if it is for a man, woman, boy or girl, and, if it is for a child, the age range.
Feed’em Soup typically serves community meals on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Since Dec. 26 is a regularly-scheduled meal day, volunteers will turn around the day after the holiday meal and dish up dinner again, in its regular 5 to 7 p.m. time slot.
“We’ll have pancakes and breakfast potato casserole that night,” Gibbs said. “We figure everyone will be hammed and turkeyed out.”
• Feed’em Soup
122 S. First St., DeKalb
2-5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 25
• Flippin Eggs
831 S. Fourth St., DeKalb
4-7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23
Donations of wrapped gifts are needed. Drop gifts off at the restaurant before Dec. 23.