Charleston church adapts annual dinner to COVID times

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Sunday, St. George Orthodox Cathedral offered the community its annual Middle Eastern cuisine. Behind their food is a special story.

In years past, the typical Greek dinner was served sit down and in-person at St. George Orthodox, but the pandemic created necessary changes. All food orders were available for pre-purchase and pick up only.

“We’ve been doing this for 80, 85 years. Our grandparents, some of these people’s great grandparents, and it’s all about the tradition. It’s a tradition of our ethnic food and our middle eastern food,” Loretta Haddy, Food Coordinator said.

This event was started by a small group of women from the church coming together to make traditional Lebanese dishes for the Charleston community.          

“Our ancestors first came at the turn of the 20th century from Lebanon and Syria. They brought with them their talents of cooking,” Haddy said.

As years progressed, the group got bigger, and so did the church.

“In those days when you went through the depression and there was no money, the best thing they knew to do was to make our ethnic food and to be able to serve it to the community and sell it as a fundraiser to keep the doors open of the church,” Haddy said.

All proceeds raised from the dinner go back to the church or to other charities like the YMCA, YWCA, and women and children during Christmas time.

“We wanted to give back to the community and we like to raise a bunch of money. We give back to charity and various organizations each year and we thought it was important. Everyone loves our cuisine. They love all the Lebanese traditions that we have here,” Doug Skaff Jr., Church Member said.

Skaff says church members work months to prepare for this special dinner. Thousands of meals are purchased each year.

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