Pictured above, volunteers help to prepare meals during last year’s Union County Community Thanksgiving Dinner. During the 2018 event, over 600 meals were provided to local residents at no charge. This year’s free event will take place on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. No reservations are required to dine in, but those who would like to have a meal delivered to their home or help volunteer should call 937-309-0743. (Photo submitted)
The Union County Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be held on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The 29th annual event offers a free dinner in an effort to ensure every local resident has a hot meal on Thanksgiving.
Ham, green beans, yams, au gratin potatoes, cranberry sauce, applesauce, dinner rolls and a wide variety of desserts will be served.
Those attending may dine in at First United Methodist Church, on the corner of Sixth and Court Streets, Marysville, or carry out their meal.
Home delivery is also available.
Reservations are not required to dine in, but must be made for a home delivery. Those who would like a meal delivered should call 937-309-0743 and leave a message with their name, address, phone number and number of meals requested.
Julie Whipple, who helps coordinate the event, said the event is a result of the community coming together to serve others.
She said many local businesses and individuals work together to donate food, delivery boxes and bags and money, along with sending volunteers to help cook, serve and deliver meals.
“The volunteers are our backbone, without them we could not do this dinner each year,” Whipple said.
There are a number of ways to pitch in for those who would like to serve, although volunteers must be at least 16 years old.
Whipple said emphasized the need for drivers to deliver meals, as Mobile Meals is not available on holidays. Volunteer drivers will be provided directions and maps by the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
Kitchen help is also needed, including cooking, baking and dishwashing.
The team is also seeking serving line volunteers, who will help get complete meal deliveries packed and sent out, as well as dining room assistants, who will wait and bus tables.
“We encourage families to make this a special holiday tradition, taking the time to make someone else’s holiday memorable,” Whipple said.
Interested volunteers may call the phone number listed above and leave a message with their name, phone number and preference as to how they would like to serve.
She said the team will begin cooking on Wednesday, Nov. 27. At that point, desserts, canned items and monetary donations may be dropped off at the church.
Last year, 394 meals were delivered, 100 meals were served in the dining room and 112 carry out dinners were provided.
Whipple said the event will continue to help others even after Thanksgiving ends, as any leftover food will be donated to local food pantries and the Hope Center.
Additionally, she said enough funding is left in the event’s bank account each year to pay for meat the following year. The rest of the monetary donations are donated among food pantries in the county.
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