GREENFIELD — The heavy snowfall couldn’t deter the kickoff of the annual Lenten fish fry Friday night at St. Michael Catholic Church in Greenfield.

About 150 diners stopped by for dinner in the St. Michael Catholic School gym from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 16 as several inches of snow fell outside.

That was down from the usual 260 or so diners that typically stop by the first fish fry of the year, but still impressive given the inclement weather.

The annual Friday fundraiser is a cherished tradition at the Greenfield church during the Lenten season — from Ash Wednesday through Holy Thursday, which falls three days before Easter.

“Fish frys are a part of Catholic culture because we abstain from eating fish on Fridays as part of our almsgiving for Lent,” said Christie Murphy, assistant to the parish priest, Father Aaron Jenkins.

“The fish frys sprung out of that as a way to feed the community and to feed the parishioners,” she said.

In addition to feeding parishioners, the annual St. Michael fish fry also provides meals to local nonprofits and their clients.

The proceeds from dessert sales and a 50/50 raffle benefit a different local cause each week, like the Hancock County Food Pantry and Love, INC.

“We see the fish fry as a ministry to the community,” said Murphy, who was overseeing the staff of volunteers serving meals Friday night.

The fish frys have been a St. Michael institution most of the time she’s been a member over the past 25 years, said Murphy, although the church and school groups that run it have fluctuated over the years.

“This is the third year we’ve done it altogether as a parish,” she said.

An average of 230 meals are served each week, said Murphy.

One family who stopped by early Friday night said they come every Friday, every Lenten season.

Another said they stop by as often as they can to support the church and school.

On Friday, Nick Muegge enjoyed dinner with his mom, Marlene Muegge, and his three kids, all of whom attend the Catholic school.

“It’s weird to eat dinner in the same spot where I was playing dodgeball earlier today,” said his oldest child, 10-year-old Mia, who is in fourth grade.

Her 4-year-old brother Macl, a preschooler, did his best to avoid eating his green beans while her 7-year-old sister, Maryn, a first grader, said she was thankful for her teacher, who was helping out in the serving line.

Helping out at the fish fry is an annual tradition for many parishioners and staff members at the school and church.

The school’s music director, Jonathan Higgins, and youth ministry director Jennifer Beyer braved the cold temperatures and relentless snowfall while manning the outside drive-through line.

They had a small tent set up with a heater inside to stay warm, but the diners stopping by for take-out orders kept them busy.

The St. Michael Catholic Fish Fry is held in the St. Michael Catholic School gymnasium on the six Fridays of Lent — which fall on Feb. 16 and 23 and March 1, 7, 15 and 22 this year.

Dine in, drive through and carry out is available.

A fried or baked fish meal with fries, macaroni and cheese and green beans costs $9, and includes a drink for those who dine in.

A kids’ meal includes pizza, fries and green beans for $4.

Extra fish, desserts, soda and beer are also available for purchase.

All proceeds from dessert sales and a 50/50 raffle benefit a different local charity each week:

Feb. 16 — Hancock County Food Pantry

Feb. 23 — Hancock Hope House

March 1 — FUSE

March 8 — Hot Shots Power Soccer

March 15 — Love, INC

March 22 — Talitha Koum Recovery House