Thanksgiving tradition of providing meals to continue in community

Austin Bush packs to-go trays full of meals in a box last year at St. James Catholic Regional School during the community Thanksgiving dinner event. 

Area churches and Helping Hand of Hope have once again partnered to not only give thanks but to also give back as they look to provide hundreds of Thanksgiving meals this holiday.

The annual Thanksgiving dinner, which will strictly be carry out and delivery this year, has been held in the county for more than 30 years.

Cheri Ellis-Reeves, an organizer for the event, said they host the meal for those who cannot afford Thanksgiving dinner for themselves or their families.

“The meal is available to anyone who is unable to have or prepare a Thanksgiving meal of their own for any reason,” she said.

So far, she said the churches lending a hand include St. James Catholic Church, First Christian, First Presbyterian, Memorial United Methodist, Christ Episcopal Church and St. Christopher Catholic Church.

“This ministry is paid for by area churches, their members and individuals in our community working together to purchase food, local restaurants and EC3 will be cooking most of the turkeys,” she said.

The meal, served on Thanksgiving Day, has traditional Thanksgiving food — turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, roll and pumpkin pie, Ellis-Reeves said.

Additionally, Ellis-Reeves said they will have safety precautions in place because of COVID-19. She said temperatures will be taken before volunteers are allowed to enter the school and masks are to be worn at all times. She also noted only one person from a family that wants to deliver meals will be allowed to come in and get meals that are to be delivered.

“If they need help getting meals to cars we will have someone to help them,” she said.

Reservations for meals can be called in through Helping Hand of Hope at 270-769-3092 by Nov. 23. Reeves said they will deliver to Hardin County residents with the exceptions of Fort Knox post and West Point.

If anyone wants to donate turkeys, pies or anything else, they can call Ellis-Reeves at 270-268-6246 or email bcjjj@comcast.net. If they want to volunteer they can sign up at signupgenius.com/go/20F0848A8A629A6F85-thanksgiving5.

Ellis-Reeves said they need volunteers for Nov. 25 and Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Day. Some of the volunteer opportunities include slicing turkeys and pies Wednesday night. On Thanksgiving morning, volunteers are needed to help cook and package meals for delivery and for delivering the meals.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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