The Far Hills Masonic Lodge opened its doors Christmas Eve and on Christmas to feed area first responders.
This is the 11th year volunteers have given up all or part of their holiday to give back to first responders.
“The reason why we started out doing it was because no restaurants were open for Christmas,” James Mack, caregivers reunion co-chairman, said. “The police, fire department, emergency crews they didn’t have any place to go to have food.”
The lodge served dinner, breakfast, and lunch. Mack says on average they serve 100 people each year. However, he said it’s not uncommon for them to see some of the same people multiple times in a day.
“While they were eating, they got called out,” Mack said. “I told them leave, go get your job done, come back, we’ll give you a whole new meal.”
First responders are welcome before, during, and after their shifts as are their family members. Some are able to take advantage of this and have a brief moment or meal with their family while working the holiday.
Mack says the volunteers do it as a way to thank the first responders for everything they do throughout the year. During their visits the first responders all say how appreciative they are to have this option on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
“It’s very pleasant it’s very rewarding,” Mack said. “The police and fire departments, they’re great guys. Really good for our community. We really need to get out and support them and that’s why we do it.”
Any left over food is being donated to a local church to help feed the homeless.
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