Volunteers needed for Thanksgiving

Staff report

The Caring Kitchen in Urbana and Graham-area churches once again are partnering to serve Thanksgiving Day dinner to over 500 individuals throughout Champaign County on Nov. 28. The Caring Kitchen, 300 Miami St., will be open for a sit-down dinner from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and food deliveries will be made from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“This is a huge event that is important for many reasons,” Caring Kitchen Executive Director Marilyn Cohn said. “As a community, it’s a chance to get together and serve each other, and it’s also a time to be thankful. We welcome anyone living in this awesome community to come join us for a hot, delicious meal.”

Graham-area churches will serve Thanksgiving Day dinner from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Graham Elementary School, 9464 W. U.S. Route 36.

“We don’t want anyone to go without a Thanksgiving dinner, whether they’re alone or with their family,” said Patricia Fonseca, Graham-area volunteer. “We encourage people to come and bring their family if they can. That way it brings everybody together when they are able to share the holidays.”

According to Cohn, the Caring Kitchen received 550 guests last year and expects the same number this year. Caring Kitchen also will provide deliveries for emergency personnel and shut-ins. St. Paris had 275 diners at last year’s meal and sent out several hundred meals.

This is the 29th year the Caring Kitchen will provide a Thanksgiving meal, which consists of turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and pie.

Individuals dining in, picking up or requesting delivery of a meal are asked to make reservations by calling the Caring Kitchen at 937-653-8443. Individuals requesting delivery of a meal in St. Paris, or who wish to arrange pickup of donated items, may call the First Church of God at 937-663-4441.

“While we prefer people to call ahead, no one will be turned away,” Cohn said.

Volunteers willing to donate their time or money to the effort may call the same number. Donated items can be dropped off at the Caring Kitchen 24 hours a day. Cohn said needed items include turkeys, large cans of green beans and sweet potatoes, rolls, eggs, butter, cranberries and pies. Fonseca said they are in need of desserts and people to help clean up after the meal.

“We definitely need volunteers to help us set up, cook, serve, deliver and clean up,” Cohn said. “If we didn’t have volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to offer the Thanksgiving meal to the community.”

Staff report