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Churches serving free Thanksgiving meals

KENDRA TILLIS ASHENDORF/Ledger file photo

A volunteer stirs the green beans for the Community Thanksgiving dinner in 2014. this year’s free Thanksgiving dinner will be served at First United Methodist Church.
KENDRA TILLIS ASHENDORF/Ledger file photo A volunteer stirs the green beans for the Community Thanksgiving dinner in 2014. this year’s free Thanksgiving dinner will be served at First United Methodist Church.

First United Methodist Church in Fairfield will host its 14th annual free Thanksgiving dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the church.

The meal, which is put together by volunteers from the community, is open to the public, with no reservations required.

“Anyone and everyone is welcome,” said organizer Carrie Brownlee.

Volunteers also will be delivering Thanksgiving meals to those who are homebound. Those who would like a meal delivered should contact the church office at 472-4303 or by 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Carryout meals also will be available Thursday.

This year’s feast includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, roll, pie and drink.

The food is donated by the Methodist church, as well as other local churches, organizations and businesses. Brownlee said First Lutheran Church is donating the stuffing, First Christian Church is donating the rolls, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is supplying the green beans and gravy, and the St. Mary Catholic Church Knights of Columbus is helping with pies. The 316 pounds of turkey, she added, are coming from Hy-Vee, but are being cooked by church members.

Volunteers for the event usually start preparations around 8-8:30 a.m., with those volunteering to serve coming in around 9:30 a.m. Anyone from the community is welcome to volunteer and can just show up at the church to help, said Brownlee.

Organizers say they are glad to be able to serve the free Thanksgiving dinner each year because they know not everyone has a place to go for a family atmosphere of food and fellowship; no one is a stranger and everyone socializes and meets new friends.

For more information about the Fairfield community Thanksgiving dinner, call Brownlee at 919-6046.

Packwood Thanksgiving dinner

PACKWOOD — Packwood Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will host its annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner at noon Thursday at the church.

The meal is free and open to everyone, although reservations are appreciated.

Those reservations can be made by Tuesday to organizers Amy Clark and Frost Van Voorst. Clark can be contacted at 919-8884. Van Voorst can be contacted at 319-695-3009 or 919-1769.

The meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, rolls, salads and desserts.

“I would say a ‘traditional Thanksgiving meal,’ but not everyone’s mother put the same food on the table for Thanksgiving,” said Clark.

“We’ve done this for [more than] 20 years now” said Van Voorst. “We actually started back in 1994. Initially we set it up because we knew that many people didn’t have family gatherings or can’t afford to go out and eat at some other place.”

Van Voorst said everyone is welcome to enjoy the event: families, couples and singles.

The dinner is an opportunity to eat and have a good time while visiting with others, he added.

In the past, up to nearly 50 guests were served Thanksgiving dinner each year.