History Of The Local Law Enforcement Christmas Dinner Events

History: Joe Anderson and friends have over the past four years provided a high-end Christmas Dinner to the Meridian Police Department on Christmas day. This started out as a way to “redeem Christmas” for the Anderson family, and have it be about giving back. We thought there was a need to serve our police. It turned out, it meant much more to them than we ever could have imagined.

Goal: To honor our law enforcement/police who serve us on Christmas day, when few restaurants are open, and to give them an opportunity to come together at the department’s offices to socialize around a great meal.
Menu Ideas: I like to smoke meat and smoked meat is a big draw. We tried to make the menu unique and different than a standard Christmas dinner they likely would receive at home.
• Smoked Beef Brisket
• Smoked Chicken
• Cilantro Lime Coconut Rice
• Cranberry Gorgonzola Coleslaw
• Homemade Baked Beans
• Fruit – fresh berries
• Rolls
• Desserts
• Drinks
We have been able to provide this for 40 people each year for an average of $350.

Donations and Gift Cards: We have gotten significant support for those who cannot serve or attend, but want to help fund our event. We use this money to pay for the food, and with any remaining, we get gift cards that the Police hand out to those they pull over in the community on Christmas day.

Volunteers Needed
:
• Grill Masters - need one for Brisket and one for Chickens ideally
• Food Prep – need 4-5 people for food prep
• Shifts: need one shift between 1st and second shifts, and one between second and third shifts. This works out to be 11AM and 10PM for us for serving times.
• Serving Volunteers: Need 6-8 people per shift. 12-16 people total.
* Youth Involvement: This is a great way to get teenagers involved in serving our police. It creates good connections but suggest keeping the teenagers to less than half of total volunteers, with supervision.

Equipment needed:
o 4 Chaffing Dishes, with water and ethanol fuel.
o One ice bin with bowl for coleslaw
o Cutting boards, carving knives, etc.
o BBQ Sauces and other needed sauces
o Plates and utensils and serving utensils
o Table clothes
o Drinks – Sparkling Cider, Pop, and Water
o Bins for packing items in and out
o Cleaning supplies

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