Lombardi’s again opens doors to the homeless on Xmas

EVERETT — For the second year in a row, Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant in Everett will serve a complimentary Christmas lunch for homeless people and others in need.

“Because we’re closed on Christmas, we decided to take part of that day to do something for the community,” said Andrew Jorden, the restaurant’s private dining and catering manager.

Last year, the restaurant served 150 meals.

“We’re anticipating over 300 this year,” Jorden said.

The menu includes pot roast, honey-glazed ham, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and salad, plus a variety of sides and desserts, chef Andy Hilliard said.

Lunch will be served between 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The bulk of the food is also donated by Lombardi’s regular suppliers, including US Foods, Peterson Co., EC Wilson Meat Co., Charlie’s Produce, and the Essential Baking Co., Hilliard said.

As was the case last year, most of the restaurant’s staff plans to volunteer their time for the day.

“We have at least 25-30 this year, and we have another 25-30 volunteers from around the community,” Jorden said.

Jorden said that last year, being the first such event, was a little bit unstructured. This year is expected to be a bit more organized.

In addition, Lombardi’s is collecting gifts for the boys and girls living at Cocoon House. There will be a “Giving Tree” adorned with name tags with the teens’ holiday wish lists. The presents are delivered to Cocoon House on Christmas Day.

One new feature this year: A number of hairstylists plan to set up shop outside the restaurant and provide free cuts or trims, Jorden said. Tents will be set up and the Port of Everett is donating propane heaters to keep the elements at bay.

Everett Transit also is scheduling a free bus to run between downtown Everett and the waterfront.

Last year, several meals were boxed up and the staff hand-delivered them to to people found on the streets of Everett.

There was more than enough food last year, and leftovers were donated, Hilliard said.

“We had plenty for everyone and whatever was left over we sent up to the mission,” he said.

Christmas lunch is likely to become an annual event, Jorden said.

“We hope so. Yeah, absolutely!” he said.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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