On Thanksgiving, my church (Boone First United Methodist) served nearly 800 free meals to the community. I could write about it, but why bother, when Kio has already done such a great job at that:
Seven hundred seventy one meals were served at First United Methodist Church’s 23rd annual free Thanksgiving dinner held on Nov. 26 at the church, 703 Arden St. in Boone.
Meals were also delivered to the local police and fire stations, an apartment complex and a homeless shelter in Ames. Due to COVID-19, this year’s event was drive-thru pickup only.
According to the event’s chairperson, Brad Filipiak, “the drive-thru was very busy the first 35 minutes with cars lined up for over three blocks. We had to add another serving line and enlist more food baggers.”
Food for the event included 35 turkeys, 12 pans of dressing, 10 pans of mashed potatoes with side helpings of gravy, 24 commercial size cans of green beans, 8 gallons of cranberry sauce, 748 rolls and 60 apple and pumpkin pies.
Preparing, handling and serving of the food followed strict health and safety guidelines. To make social distancing easier, the number of volunteers needed to put on the event was reduced from the 60 of past years to 25 this year. Couples and families were encouraged to volunteer to keep the amount of households to a minimum. Everyone was required to wear gloves and masks.
Dealing with COVID-19 gave this year’s meal a different feeling. Filipiak added, “We didn’t have the normal fellowship of the in-person meal.” The event still provided a meal for many people who wouldn’t otherwise have the means to make it get a Thanksgiving dinner.
In looking back on the event during this time of a pandemic, Filipiak said, “it showed that with everything going on we can still find a way to calm our fears and serve our community”.
As for next year’s Boone First United Methodist Church free Thanksgiving dinner, Filipiak hopes it will be back to the normal in-person meal with a new goal of serving 800 to 1,000 meals.
Kio’s write-up appeared in the “Boone News Republican”.
Here are some pictures from the day:
If you would like to take a gander at the rest of the pictures of this event, click on the link below:
I have a few other pictures from this event and the preparation for this event that will come out in due course.