The Caring Kitchen in Urbana and the Federation of Churches in St. Paris will provide Thanksgiving Day turkey dinners this year resuming in-person dining after last year’s COVID-19 restrictions. Carry-out and delivery will be provided as well.
The Urbana shelter/pantry, on Miami St., has welcomed residents of eastern Champaign County inside for free Thanksgiving Day meals for years.
The St. Paris-area churches have offered free Thanksgiving Day meals for western county residents as well. First Baptist Church of St. Paris, 138 W. Plum St., will be hosting.
“We do this so that people who might not have a family can have Thanksgiving,” said Pastor Jeremy Spence of First Baptist Church in St. Paris. “Whether there are single, divorced or elderly people, it is a way to have family with the community.”
Food donations and delivery volunteers are needed. Monetary donations are welcomed, but Thanksgiving meals are free of charge.
At the Caring Kitchen
Tara Jordan of the Caring Kitchen said that this community service has been going on for over 32 years.
“Everybody likes to be here on Thanksgiving and they like to come back and volunteer year after year,” said Jordan.
“We are going to pretty much be back to normal,” she said. “We are going to do social distancing in the dining room.”
Jordan said the Caring Kitchen provided approximately 580 meals last year.
The menu this year consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy, rolls with butter and a piece of pie.
The Caring Kitchen will be providing carry-out, delivery and dine-in options this year. Jordan said they are in need of volunteers to help with delivery.
For delivery orders, people must call ahead and provide their name, address, phone number and number of Thanksgiving dinners needed. For delivery, it is preferred that people call by Tuesday, November 23 to allow adequate time for preparation. Deliveries will arrive at home between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
It is appreciated if dine-in or carry-out turkey eaters call ahead as well so that the staff and volunteers know how many meals to prepare. Dine in and carry-out will be available from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
To volunteer or order a meal, call the Caring Kitchen at (937) 653-8443 and leave a message if needed.
The Caring Kitchen is accepting donations of turkeys, sweet potatoes, instant mashed potatoes, gravy, large cans of green beans, canned cranberry sauce, boxes of stuffing and pumpkin pies. All donated items can be dropped off at the Caring Kitchen by Friday, November 19.
At First Baptist Church, St. Paris
“We will have a limited dine-in option,” said Spence. “We don’t have a large space, but we want to offer dine-in for those who would like to.”
Spence said there is room for about 50 people at one time in their dining area.
Spence said they provided about 300 meals last year.
Reservations for delivery are required by Tuesday, November 23. Like the Caring Kitchen, carry-out and dine-in reservations are appreciated as well.
Deliveries will begin at 11:30 a.m. ending at 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and dine-in or carry-out will be provided from noon until 1:30 p.m.
Day-of meal prep and delivery volunteers are needed. Donations of canned green beans and jellied cranberry sauce are needed. Donations can be dropped of to the church by Thursday, November 18.
To volunteer or order a meal, call the church at (937) 663-4335. To place reservations online, visit fbcstparis.com/thanksgiving.