By Elio Gugliotti, Editor
NAUGATUCK — Even though there isn’t going to be a sit-down dinner on Christmas at St. Michael’s Church this year, that won’t stop a team of volunteers from delivering holiday cheer with some turkey and ham.
Typically, community members and volunteers come together for the annual Christmas Day Dinner — a long-standing borough tradition that goes back more than 30 years — in the church hall to share a meal and celebrate the holiday. Meals are also delivered every year.
James Goggin, an organizer of the dinner and the borough’s tax collector, said about 320 dinners were served last year, including about 180 that were delivered.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, dinners will only be delivered this year.
Goggin said it’s important to maintain the dinner tradition, even if meals are only delivered. There is a need in the community for the dinners, he said, adding some people may also be alone on the holiday and getting a meal delivered can provide some companionship.
Goggin stressed, though, that the dinners are for anyone and everyone in the borough community who wants one. The dinners include turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and dessert.
People are asked to RSVP for a dinner by Dec. 23. People can call Goggin at 203-996-6675 or at the tax collector’s office at 203-720-7051 or volunteer Andy Bottinick at 203-985-5989 to sign up for a dinner.
Volunteers are needed on Christmas Day between about 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to help assemble the dinners and deliver them, Goggin said. He expects to start delivering dinners at about 11:30 a.m. Volunteers are also needed to prep the dinners the days before Christmas.
Volunteers will follow COVID-19 protocols, he said.
Goggin said the group is only accepting donations of store-bought desserts that are sealed this year due to the pandemic. People can drop off dessert donations at the church hall, 210 Church St., starting Dec. 23 until about 10 a.m. on Christmas Day.
The food for the dinner is purchased by the volunteers, and monetary donations are welcome. To donate, people can mail or drop off a check to the tax collector’s at Naugatuck Town Hall, 229 Church St., Naugatuck, or any Ion Bank branch. Checks must be made out to “Naugatuck Christmas Dinner.”
For information, contact Goggin or Bottinick.