POINT PLEASANT — Thanksgiving dinner will arrive a little early this week when hundreds of people are expected to attend the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church.
The dinner is from 4-6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 22 at the church.
Church members have been busy cooking 14 turkeys, each over 20 pounds, as well as preparing over 15o pounds of potatoes. The dinner will include turkey, stuffing, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry salad, rolls and drinks. Desserts are also provided and prepared by members of the congregation.
“Our congregation isn’t large but it responds in a big way,” Donna Lambert, member of the church said.
Lambert also volunteers in the emergency food pantry located in the bottom of the church’s basement and sees for herself, the need that never seems to get met in Mason County, when it comes to hunger.
For this reason, the church is giving out backpacks of nonperishable food items which will be given to each child who attends the dinner as long as supplies last. These bags of food will consist of things like macaroni and cheese, soups, etc. Lambert said the idea is to give away food during a week when there is no school to ensure children don’t miss a meal.
Lambert said the dinner has become a holiday tradition for many and has been going on for around 20 years. She added, people first started asking about when it would be held several weeks ago. It is, after all, a chance for everyone, no matter their income or background, to have a home-cooked, free meal.
Last year, around 350 meals were served with a full house attending. At that time, Pastor John Holland described the event as “joyful” as people from every walk of life filled their plates.
At the time, Holland said some people arrived an hour before the dinner started with a steady stream of humanity the entire evening.
“This is why we do this,” Holland said as he looked out at the full tables in the fellowship hall. “We’re all brothers and sisters … it’s like a family gathering. People show up, they show love for it and get loved.”
The church does deliver carryout meals but those orders had to be in by Monday, Nov. 21. As of Monday evening, around 60 orders had already been placed.
“This is a good tradition,” Holland said last year. “This is a great and wonderful thing. When we prayed before the meal, you could feel the spirit and God’s love in the room.”
The Thanksgiving dinner, Easter egg hunt and back-to-school carnival are just a few of the outreach programs the church provides to the community.
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