Dinners for a Difference

Raising Awareness to Help Others

Led by the Saint James Mission & Justice Committee, Dinners for a Difference (formerly Bridge Dinners) are held twice a year and are an opportunity for our community to learn more about refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers and other uprooted people and the difficulties they face in trying to begin a new life here in the United States and in Lancaster. Former displaced people, now settled in Lancaster typically prepare dishes for the dinner, from their homeland—the county they were forced to flee because of conflict, persecution and/or natural disaster.

After the meal, the former refugees share their stories of the journey they made from a place they once called home, and were forced to leave, to Lancaster County—why they left, how long it took, what it was like traveling with children, and the difficulties adjusting to a completely new way of life including a new and very different language.

The Mission & Justice committee now partners with Church World Service for Dinners for a Difference and other awareness raising activities. Monies raised from the dinners go towards relocation efforts in our local community.

I had no idea of the problems people face when they come here from another country. It is so sad that highly educated people, and I mean doctors and scientists, cannot find work here. Instead, they basically have to find low-paying jobs just to get by. My heart really goes out to them, and I am looking forward to learning how I might make a difference in refugees' lives.
Dinner for a Difference Participant

Loved the food and fellowship. My heart is full and so was my belly. I was enlightened by their stories of struggles and love of family.
Cannot wait to do it again.

Bridge Dinner Participant