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Volunteers, food items sought for free community Thanksgiving dinner in Guilford

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GUILFORD — This will be the 15th annual Thanksgiving dinner offered to the community, by the community. The meal is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22 at the Guilford United Methodist Church on the corner of North Main and School streets. Take-out meals are available. Delivered meals and rides to the event may be offered if enough volunteers are available.

Even though the meal is at a church, organizer Kirsty Pratley said it is not a church-related event, but is held there because the facility is donated and features a kitchen and large dining area suitable for hosting dinner for the 60 to 80 people who attend each year.

Volunteers are needed to cook and deliver food to the church, to serve food, to socialize with the guests, to deliver meals to the homebound, and to clean up after the meal. Donations of cooked foods delivered to the church by 10 a.m. are being sought, as are donations of cash, and food items.

“Right now, we still need everything,” Pratley said. “This is a shared blessing, as the goal is for those who provide food to make a dish they like, or make extra of what they are already making for their own Thanksgiving dinner at home, and bring the extra to the church, hot in a crock pot or foil pan. Some people like to make pies, so they make an extra pie. Others are going elsewhere for Thanksgiving, so they have an oven that is free to cook and donate a turkey. For those who prefer not to cook or are away for Thanksgiving but want to donate, we do purchase frozen peas, butter, drinks, whipped cream, milk, coffee, etcetera, and would gladly accept those food items, as well. Some folks donate money, and that goes to purchase what we need when we get down to the wire.”

Any cash left over after each year’s event is donated to the local food cupboard. Leftover food is packed up and sent home with the guests.

“We had entertainment last year,” Pratley said. “It would be great to have some again this year, if there are any musicians out there with free time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.”

To donate, volunteer, or obtain information about the free Thanksgiving dinner, please call Pratley at 876-4261.

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