Community Dinner

***Currently on hold due to COVID-19***

Third Thursday of every Month

4 pm to 6 pm

The community dinners began in March of 2015.  An idea was conceived to offer an opportunity for Lanark Highlanders to get together for dinner.  The purpose of these dinners goes no further than that.  Simply an opportunity to get together.  Originally the dinners were set up on a three month trial basis and the overwhelming success was a clear indicator that they needed to continue.  Since their conception attendance has ranged from an estimated 66 to 202.

Participation in the way of volunteers has been profound.  From dishwashing to leadership members of the community have found their niche.  Many enjoy sharing favourite salads or desserts.  Recipes are shared and new tastes are explored.

Plan B members feel very strongly that the dinner is comfortable and open to everyone.  To that end there is no charge for the dinner, no donation box, no requirement to bring anything.  We appreciate how difficult the economic juggling act can be and while the very generous donations we receive at the dinner are so appreciated and necessary we would prefer to receive them at another time.

The Perth and District Community Foundation has been very supportive financially, and we have received either financial or support in kind from individuals and businesses such as the Era, Canadian Tire, Hendricks, Lanark Health Clinic, Scotiabank, United Church of Canada, among others.

St Andrews has been a very supportive partner and shares our ideals of fostering community.  Together we have seen a community come together, young and old, rich and poor, to share a meal and get to know each other.  Although the food is wonderful that is not what makes the dinner so good.  It is the feeling in the room, the sound of people engaged, and children laughing.  It is the indescribable something that just needs to be experienced.

Fun Facts

  • Third Thursday of the month  4-6 pm
  • Average number of dinner guests in 2016 was 120
  • Average monthly expenses were $296.26
  • Average cost of a meal was $2.47
  • The dinners began in March 2015 and so to date we have held 25 dinners which seem to become increasingly successful
  • Initially advertising included the Courier, Lake 88, and the Era.  About a year ago advertising was restricted to the Era only to keep numbers reasonable and guests local.  We welcome support from any local agency/business to promote the dinners-such as NLCHC does.
  • A celebration of birthdays was added in 2016 which has been well received.  All guests with a birthday that month receive a piece of cake and we sing “happy birthday”.  No noticeable change in level of excitement with age differences!
  • Although there is no expectation of any contribution of any kind many guests find a way to contribute in various ways.  Some financially, some bring food, some share the work load.
  • A “salad rotation” has been established with various organizations in the village.  These organizations take turns providing enough green salad for about 30 people every month.
  • We participate in the volunteer hours for the high school.
  • We are accessible, unfortunately not obviously, but we can make it work.
  • We offer vegetarian options.
  • The community dinners are primarily an opportunity to build community.  Measuring success has been done by seeing the relationships build, hearing how people now come to the dinners to see friends they have made there, hearing children count down the days to the next community dinner, knowing that plans are being formulated by contacts made over dinner.
  • All of us in our community tend to associate with people with similar circumstances to our own.  Meeting the people with diverse living circumstances and coming to understand who they are has helped many of us appreciate the value of taking that time to really comprehend who we are living right beside.
  • It is so totally awesome when someone else cooks and cleans up for a change!