Free Christmas Meal Set at Park Hill Plaza in Fitchburg
By Mina Corpuz
FITCHBURG -- Park Hill Plaza will host its second holiday meal on Christmas to give those in need a home cooked meal and a place to spend the afternoon.
“Anybody that is in need ... if there are people who have nowhere to go on Christmas, they’re welcome to come here,” said Greg Nims, who organized the community meal with his wife, Dina, who is manager of the restaurant.
The free meal is open to families or individuals from the city, Leominster, and surrounding towns from the region.
About 50 people have signed up for the meal so far, Greg said, adding that the Franklin Road restaurant can seat up to 100 people.
The meal with feature appetizers, ham, turkey, side dishes, and dessert.
Dina said most of the food was donated from city businesses. She and staff will begin preparing ham, soup, mashed potatoes, and more on Christmas Eve and decorate the restaurant before the holiday meal begins.
A Santa Claus who can meet with children and an organist will be at the restaurant to provide holiday entertainment, she said.
All children who attend will receive a toy the Nims purchased with their own money, hats, gloves, and socks, Dina said. Every adult that comes for a meal will be entered into a raffle to win gift cards to stores like Walmart and Market Basket, she added.
Owner Nick Bastolakis let the Nims use the restaurant for the community event, Dina said.
They hope to follow up with success from the inaugural holiday meal held last year at Park Hill Pizza that about 75 people attended, Greg said.
The Nims came up with the idea to hold the holiday meal last year as they were sitting around after Thanksgiving dinner, Dina said.
“Why don’t we do this for people who are in need?” She recalled. “We have everything and wanted to find a way to help.”
Greg thought hosting one would be a good way to give back to the community.
Meal reservations for the Christmas meal are available for three afternoon time slots at noon, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m.
To ensure everyone who wants a meal gets one, the Nims would like people to RSVP beforehand and indicate which time slot works for them. They can call their daughter, Katie, at 978-343-7100 between Wednesday and Saturday from noon and 6 p.m.
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