B y Jaime Thomas
With the average Thanksgiving Day meal costing about $50, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation, some families just can’t afford all the fixins.’
For those in the Granville area, a traditional holiday feast doesn’t have to come at a high price.
For the fifth year in a row, the Raceville United Methodist Church is offering a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone and everyone this Sunday, Nov. 24. Donations will be accepted, but those who can’t afford to pay are welcome to eat for free.
This year, the church is co-sponsoring the event with the Mettawee Valley Ecumenical Council (MVEC) food bank.
“It’s what churches do, or should be doing—opening their doors to people who are less fortunate,” said Doug Baker, event organizer and lay pastor at the church. With 25 years of restaurant management under his belt and four previous community dinners, he’s not daunted by the prospect of dishing out food to hundreds of mouths.
He said a large team of volunteers from area churches will prepare and serve the meal this weekend.
“It’s a way to give back to the community that gave to you,” Baker said, explaining that he knows what it’s like to struggle financially.
“We’ve all been there at one time or another. When my wife and I got married we didn’t have anything. You appreciate things more when you don’t start with a lot,” he said.
Because the Raceville church and the MVEC are combining their meals this year, there will be three seatings, rather than open dining.
“That way everyone has one hour and a half to come in, sit down and eat and chat with their neighbors,” Baker said. “It’s going to be cold on Sunday, so we don’t want people outside waiting in line,” he said.
On the menu this year will be classic Thanksgiving fare, including turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, homemade rolls, cabbage salad and homemade pies for dessert. During the three seatings, at 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m., dinner will be served buffet style.
Diners can, but are not required to, make reservations for the meal, which takes place at the Raceville Community House on Butler Road, off Route 22A.