Community

Volunteers serve more than 1,100 meals on Thanksgiving

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Volunteers served more than 1,100 meals through the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday at First United Methodist Church, organizers said.

The total was comparable to the number of meals served last year, said Sheila Zachary, the dinner’s co-chair. Dine-in service was suspended last year and patrons had to request delivery due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The dining room reopened to around 150 people. Drivers delivered 800 meals Thursday morning, in addition to about 200 meals carried out or delivered later that day.

“We had lots of compliments on how good the food was and [we] want everyone that helped know how much we appreciate them,” Zachary said.

Preparations for the annual meal begin in October. Zachary and her husband, Mark, send out letters appealing for volunteers and donations of food or money. This was the couple’s 12th year chairing the meal.

A team of about 50 volunteers spend two days preparing, serving and delivering meals. That was the same number of turkeys volunteer Rick Warner cooked for the dinner.

“Our kitchen help is wonderful because they just come in and they’ve been doing it for years,” Zachary said.

Florists from Kroger, Milligan’s Flowers & Gifts, Just Because Flowers, Gifts and More and Country Hearts & Flowers decorated the dining room. Diners also saw artwork by students from local elementary schools and Rainbows & Rhymes preschool.

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