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Volunteers meet to prep annual free Thanksgiving Day meals

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Trinity United Methodist Church members began preparing the cranberry relish for their 35th annual free Thanksgiving Day Meal. Featured are (from left) Tim Allen, Liz Sanders, Liz Godts, Lee Ann Smith, Greg Sprinkle and Patty Sprinkle.
On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Trinity United Methodist Church members began preparing the cranberry relish for their 35th annual free Thanksgiving Day Meal. Featured are (from left) Tim Allen, Liz Sanders, Liz Godts, Lee Ann Smith, Greg Sprinkle and Patty Sprinkle. Photo by Emily Wyatt

Trinity United Methodist Church, 530 Guilford St., Huntington, will once again be serving the Huntington community with their free Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thursday, Nov. 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. They were unable to have the meal last year due to COVID-19, so this year will be the 35th annual meal.
According to meal organizer Tim Allen, Jim and Gloria Wilson began the free meal tradition at the church in 1986.

“They had noted that Meals on Wheels would not be delivering on Thanksgiving Day and they wanted to share a meal with those in the community that might not be able to afford the big feast that many of us have with our families,” Allen explained. “They considered those who would be alone for the day and wanted them to come with anyone else who desired to join neighbors and friends at the church for food and fellowship at no cost.”

That first year, the church members prepared and served 70 meals. Currently, the church serves around 600 meals, Allen said.

When reflecting on past events, Allen said, “The best stories always revolve around the love and compassion the volunteers have for others in our community. Supporting each other during the holidays is one of the best feelings ever. There is great satisfaction in knowing you are providing food and a smile to someone who may really need it.”

In the future, Allen says he hopes to continue the event and provide food to anyone in need.

The menu for the meal this year includes dark/white turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry relish and pie.
Volunteers from the church began preparations for the meal on Wednesday, Nov. 17. Also on that day, Huntington County Community Foundation (HCCF) Board President Marshall Sanders gave a $100 Kudos Grant to Trinity specifically to support the Thanksgiving meal.

Allen says the meal will look different than it has in the past due to continued COVID-19 concerns. There will be no in-person dining at the church. Instead, meals will be available through carryout and delivery only.

For carryout, the drive-thru will be on the west side of the church. Participants are asked to enter off of Washington Street and continue through the portico to pick up their meals.

Delivery will be organized on the Guilford Street side of the church. Volunteers may pull their vehicles up to the parking spots along Guilford Street in front of the church and workers will bring deliveries to the vehicle.

Those who want to have food delivered to their home may call the office and make the arrangements through tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 23. Office hours are Monday through Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Any other questions may also be directed to the church office.

Those interested in volunteering for the event may call the church office at 356-0961. All volunteers inside the church are required to be vaccinated and wear a mask in order to help.

If individuals are unable to volunteer, but still want to support the event, donations may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church with “Thanksgiving Dinner” specified in the memo line.