Local non-profit holds special holiday meal for families

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. – Now starts the countdown to Christmas Day, and people are getting into the spirit at the Manna Cafe. With good food, conversation and friends near and dear, the lunch is a tradition that spreads Christmas cheer.

‘Twas two days before Christmas and all through the cafe, families poured in to take part in a very special day.

“There’s love in that room. You know that when you walk in. There’s just love, it’s wonderful,” said Manna Cafe founder, Fran Lytle.

Fran and Bill Lytle are the dynamic pair who started the trend nearly three years ago to make meals to share.

“It really serves as a niche in this community for people that are low income. There’s a place for them to come and to eat. For the older population, it’s a place to come and socialize,” said Shirley Evans.

And as people lined up to come in and eat, they also got a little extra treat. Tables were filled with toy after toy just waiting to go home with a special little girl or boy.

“It’s great to see all of the kids running around and picking up a toy and knowing that this might be the only toy that they get for the holiday,” said Evans.

“The nice thing about the toys is that everyone was donated by people in the community. And it’s just phenomenal,” said Bill Lytle.

And with all the smiles and laughter one thing was clear, none of this could happen without the help of each and every volunteer.

“Every Monday morning when I wake up, I wake up with a smile on my face because I know I’m coming here,” said one volunteer Jean Howard.

“God gives us all gifts and we should use those gifts. So our volunteers are here because we’re using the gifts that God gave us to serve other people,” said Fran Lytle.

And whether you’re young or old, big or small, it was a day filled with fun had by all.

Because the Manna Cafe is a non-profit, they’re always looking for donations to help keep their weekly lunches up and running. And if you would like to help support them feel free to head to their website here.




Categories: Local News, Virginia