Planning for the 16th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner is under way and organizers are expected another big year this time around.
Last year right around 800 people were fed with 686 meals being delivered out into the community. That was over 200 meals more than the year before and the event planners are expecting at least that many this year.
The Community Thanksgiving Dinner is always free of charge and offers dine-in and delivery of its meals.
And in order to feed so many people, organizers start planning well in advance.
Last year, there was over 5o turkeys cooked and carved for the meals, and plenty of green beans, sweet potatoes, dressing and mashed potatoes as well - but there was just enough to feed everyone, where in the past there was always plenty of leftovers.
“We can always use monetary donations, but we could definitely use some commitments from people for food donations,” said organizer Annie Hall of First Presbyterian Church, which started the holiday tradition 16 years ago.
“Last year we were down with the number of food donations that people brought in - especially desserts,” Hall said.
Donations of food like pumpkin or pecan pies can be dropped off at First Presbyterian Church either the day before or the morning of Thanksgiving.
This year the dine-in meal will be back in the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian after spending the past two years in the Sportmans Club and the Stevenson Elementary School cafeteria.
“I think it will be a much better atmosphere there,” Hall said. “It’s also easier since we won’t have to move as much stuff from the church.”
Much of the cooking will still be done at Stevenson Elementary and the delivery meals will once again be put together there.
“Using the cafeteria at school and the lunchroom ladies that helped us was a huge blessing for us,” Hall said. “That was really the best place to get all of that done.”
In addition to money and food donations - volunteers are always needed for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
“We can use help with deliveries and also getting everything ready to go on Thanksgiving morning,” Hall said.
All morning volunteers should be finished up by around 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving, which falls on Nov. 28 this year.
The planning committee will be having weekly meetings each Monday at 5:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 159 W. Sixth Street, if you would like to get involved.
If you’d like to get more information or to make a commitment to donate food or volunteer, you can also call Annie Hall at 542-8257 or the church at 726-6207.