Calhoun First Presbyterian Church, which will host its ninth annual dinner the day before Thanksgiving, served more than 3,300 free Thanksgiving meals last year, up from 1,600 in 2007, and is bracing for a possible influx of as many as 5,000 people this year, said Judy Greeson, who is coordinating the effort.
“We won’t turn anyone away. The more the better,” said Greeson.
Greeson said First Presbyterian’s pre-Thanksgiving meal has grown steadily since it began in 2000 and the church served 200 people.
“This has turned into a real community outreach for us and other churches,” she said. “The response we have gotten has been awesome.”
Greeson said the church has plenty of food on hand, and the main need right now is carry-out plates.
“We try to meet everyone’s needs with this service, and we feed a lot of elderly and home-bound folks,” she said.
Volunteers who plan to help prepare or serve food are asked to meet at the church at 5 p.m. Sunday night.
“We were not expecting the kind of volume we saw last year, and this year it could be even larger,” Greeson said. “We are going to be ready for it.
At East Calhoun Church of God, the Feed the Needy ministry will provide a free Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day, said Florence Jones.
Last year the church served 500 people on Thanksgiving, and Jones said the congregation is expecting to see more than that this year.
“There are so many people out there who are in need,” she said. “My prayer is that God will help us meet the needs of those who are hurting and help them find a better life.”
Jones said the Feed the Needy ministry is a year-round effort that has provided groceries to more than 5,000 people in Gordon and Bartow counties in the past year.
“There are a lot of people in our own backyard who are struggling,” she said.
Thanksgiving Meals in the community
n Calhoun First Presbyterian Church, 829 Red Bud Road NE, will hold a free community Thanksgiving lunch on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Seniors will be fed at 10 a.m. to noon, and the serving time for the public begins at noon. Contact Judy Greeson at 678-986-8217 if you have any questions.
n East Calhoun Church of God, 401 Peters St., will provide a free Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are required. Contact Florence Jones at 706-409-1981 or the church office at 706-629-0949.
n Sugar Valley Church of God, 100 Pocket Road, Sugar Valley, will serve a free Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the church fellowship hall. For more information, call Lesa Seabolt at 706-847-9999.