An idea that turned into an annual event saw a Christmas meal program take place that was offered by way of donations in MacGregor. The event touched the community in a wonderful way. 

MacGregor Hotel Owner Nelson Strand initiated it a couple of years ago during the pandemic.

"Since then, we've done it every year," says Strand. "We pick a charity that we give the donations to and we supply a Christmas dinner for anybody that needs one, or wants one on Christmas Day."

He notes the charity for this time around was the North Norfolk Community Resource Centre’s Food Vault. 

"We raised about $2,100," adds Strand. "The town really likes it and everybody likes the food we give out, so it's a good event that we do. It's good for people that are home alone, or don't have anywhere to go on Christmas Day, or just need a meal. The Town gets behind it and everybody likes it, so it's worth doing it."

Strand explains the meals were prepared and made available for pick-up between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the hotel. 

"My staff and my wife -- and we have a few people volunteer -- package it up, and then they can take it back home and eat it whenever they want," continues Strand. "They can heat it up and eat it later, or they can eat it at 2:00 in the afternoon, or whenever they want."

The meal consisted of turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, a bun, and a couple of desserts. 

"This year, we did 119," adds Strand. "Last year, we raised money for the Jim Evenson Memorial Fund -- a bursary that they give away at the high school every year -- and the Kinettes. It was half-and-half. The first year, it was the North Norfolk walking paths -- ski paths and snow paths coming through MacGregor." 

He notes they saw a large jump in requests for the meals this year compared to the first two years.

"The first year was 79," says Strand. "The second year was 69, and then this year was 119. We'll probably do it again. We're making it an annual thing. I want to keep doing it. I'm not too sure what charity we're going to give it to, or anything like that yet. We'll just kind of decide which one we're going to as it gets closer, and then get hold of the people, and then let them know."

Strand says getting initiating something like this makes him and his wife proud that they can do it and that they can afford to do it as a way of giving back to the community. 

"It's good that the people of the town donate to it," adds Strand. "Some people donate $20. Some people donate $5. It doesn't really matter what you donate, but at least they're donating back to the community. So that's a good thing, too."