Volunteers, food items sought for free community Thanksgiving dinner

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GUILFORD — This will be the 16th 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. 28 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 are available.

“Guilford United Methodist Church donates their facility to this yearly event so that all comers can freely enjoy a leisurely meal in friendly surroundings,” said organizer Kirsty Pratley. “Over the past 15 years, more than 1,000 people have enjoyed traditional Thanksgiving fare, which often included an extra dessert to take home and snack on later. The dinner is free and open to all.”

Volunteers are needed to cook food at home and deliver it to the church, to serve food, to socialize with the guests, 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.

“We have many repeat volunteers but could still use some volunteers to help assemble take-outs and do clean up,” Pratley said. “We also still need hot cooked food donations. People cook an extra batch of something they like and bring the extra batch to the church in slow cookers. That’s why the food is so good – every item is special and individual, prepared by a happy cook. And we don’t have any pie donations yet!”

There has been a request to include carrots in the meal this year, she said, and more yellow turnip, a popular menu item that ran out last Thanksgiving.

“We also buy some items, like butter, coffee, drinks, paper plates, etcetera, and are still in need of monetary donations toward those items,” Pratley said. 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.

There will also be entertainment. “We had some lovely music last year, and those folks are coming again this year,” Pratley said.

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

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