Sisters Shawnee, left, and Makala Worcester of Girl Scout Troop 498 serve pie Sunday at the free community dinner in Rumford.

Brooklynn Webster serves pie to Billy McPhail at the free community dinner Sunday in Rumford.

George Byam is one about 250 people to enjoy the free community dinner Sunday in Rumford.

Jacob True Jr., assistant scout master for Boy Scout Troop 580, takes a break Sunday from the kitchen at the free community dinner served by scouts in Rumford.

RUMFORD — Local scouts served the 11th annual free community dinner Sunday at American Legion Post 24.

Leader Gail True of the Girl Scouts said the scouts welcomed about 250 people to the dinner.

Tom Sinclair and Joe Parise were among those who have become regulars at the community dinner.

“It’s a great to help the food pantry,” said Sinclair, referring to the food donations the scouts collected at the community dinner.

“The food is great,” Parise said. “It’s worth the trip.”

“And the waitresses are great, too,” added another guest at their table.

Twenty Girl Scouts and five Boy Scouts served at the community dinner.

Emily Gilbert of Brownie Troop 528, said it was the second community dinner at which she had served.

“I helped with the serving and whatever way I can,” she said. “Everyone says thank you for the food. I feel good doing this.”

Boy Scout Master Richard Philbrick said the scouts entered the American Legion at about 8 a.m. to begin preparing food for the event, which began at noon. He said hungry guests were waiting at the door for up to an hour.

Jacob True Jr., assistant scout master for Boy Scout Troop 580, said volunteerism and giving back to the community are big parts of scouting. The children also learn skills, such as setting tables, serving the buffet-style meal, waiting on tables by bringing drinks and desserts to each person and collecting and delivering food donations to the food pantries.

Following the event, scouts also delivered meals to the Rumford Police and Fire departments and Med-Care Ambulance.

At the community dinner, scouts also asked that each guest donate a nonperishable food item.

The donations were approaching last year’s total of more than 300 pounds, to be divided between the Servant Heart Food Pantry in Peru and the Greater Rumford Area Ministers and Priests Association Food Pantry at Mexico Congregational Church, known as the Green Church.

Sponsors of the community dinner included the ND Rumford Mill, which donated 10 turkeys; 50 pounds of potatoes from Frank Jannace; squash from Greenwood Orchards in Turner; and cups and napkins and a $25 gift card from Hannaford. American Legion Post 24 donated use of the hall and plastic utensils.

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