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Grand Falls-Windsor business offering free Christmas Day dinner

James Snow of The Cod Jigger in Grand Falls-Windsor is serving up free Christmas dinner this year.
James Snow of The Cod Jigger in Grand Falls-Windsor is serving up free Christmas dinner this year. - Krysta Carroll

Seeking volunteers

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, N.L.

Some people have turkeys in their freezers months in advance, and Christmas dinner planned with loved ones and all the fixings.

A sad reality is, many others will not have the big dinners, or company, to share the holidays with.

James Snow of The Cod Jigger in Grand Falls-Windsor is hoping to change that.

He is offering a free Christmas dinner from 1-4 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Snow, 37, is originally from Little Bay Islands, spent time in the United States and many years in Ontario before moving back to the island last year.

“I grew up in a fishing village poor so the quicker I could get out of Dodge, I was gone,” he told The Central Voice. “I left here when I was 15. I didn’t even finish high school. My first job was a waiter in a restaurant.”

One day he had a realization.

“I was tired of the rat race in Ontario,” Snow said. “I just woke up one day and said I’m tired of this, I’m going home.”

Snow and his friend and business partner Helen Collins packed up and bought a house in Springdale in 2017.

He then saw an opportunity in Grand Falls-Windsor, and there came The Cod Jigger, a fairly new take-out in Grand Falls-Windsor.

The idea of the free Christmas dinner came about the day he opened the restaurant.

“I grew up very poor so I know what it’s like to want something,” Snow said. “It’s a little thing but something I want to do.”

This year he decided to put his money to good use.

“I was going to feed people who probably need it,” Snow said. “I see so many people come in to the take-out and order something and they are counting their nickels,” Snow said. “I had one lady come in with her piggy bank. There’s definitely a need for it, so why not.”

And this isn’t just for people who financially cannot have a Christmas dinner. The Christmas Day dinner is open to anyone—seniors, homeless or individuals who are alone during the holiday.

“There’s a lot of people who are alone for Christmas and they shouldn’t be,” Snow said. “There’s a lot of people who just live by themselves and don’t want to cook a big Christmas dinner just for themselves.”

He is hoping they will come out for a good meal and some great company.

As of the latter part of November, Snow had four turkeys in his freezer. Family and friends are helping him cook them Christmas Eve.

“We are going to carve them up and serve until the food runs out,” Snow said. “We are having turkey with all the trimmings, mashed potatoes, carrot, turnip, cabbage, cranberry sauce, and gravy of course.”

The Friendly Fifty Plus Club located at 50 Main Street, Grand Falls-Windsor, has donated their building to The Cod Jigger so they can host their free dinner on Christmas Day.

For more information contact Snow at 393-1330.

Volunteers welcome for Christmas Day

The Cod Jigger is looking for volunteers to help out with the free Christmas Dinner they are offering from 1-4 p.m. Christmas Day. Volunteers will be needed from 12-5 p.m.

According to a Facebook post by The Cod Jigger, they will be needing help with the following:

• Set up team – Volunteers will need to be on hand to set up the floor area of the at Friendly Fifty Plus Club with tables and chairs and make sure the place settings are all done.

• Meet and greeters – In this role you will be asked to meet and greet the guests, making sure they are looked after by sitting and talking with them has they come in. There will be tea and coffee available, so they may need help to get a hot drink. During the free Christmas meal, you may be required to help seat the guests at the table or even engage them in bit of friendly conversation to make them feel welcome.

• Servers – In this role you will be asked to help serve up and plate the hot food so that it can be taken to those sitting at tables.

• Waiters and waitresses – If you are assigned to this task you will be required to serve each of the guests with their free Christmas meal by taking the plated food to the tables, grab coffee, tea, and desserts for people.

• Clearers – Those who are working in this role will be required to remove dirty china and cutlery and take to washing area after disposing of any scraps.

• Washers – Your job will be to help in the kitchen and to wash and dry all the crockery and cutlery used during the meal. Disposable dinner plates and cups will be used to help make clean up easier and faster.

To volunteer call 393-1330.

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