|Thanksgiving feast planned for Nov. 22 |
|Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011 8:57 pm |
| By CHRIS MENEES |
There will be enough to feed a multitude.
Planners of the 12th annual Community Feeding of the 5,000 — an effort based on the biblical account of Jesus’ feeding a multitude with a boy’s lunch of fish and bread — are preparing for a feast.
This year’s Thanksgiving meal is set for Nov. 22 and will be available to anyone in the community who would benefit from a homecooked meal and fellowship with others.
It will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Union City First Baptist Church’s family life center at 509 East Church St., as well as at several satellite locations around Union City and Obion County.
The satellite locations will include Union City Housing Authority’s community room, Reelfoot Rural Ministries, the Tiptonville and Ridgely senior citizens centers and locations to be announced in communities throughout Obion County and beyond. A location in Kenton has been added this year.
The meal will feature a traditional Thanksgiving menu of turkey, dressing, gravy, green beans, cooked apples, cranberry sauce, rolls and pie — all donated, prepared and served or delivered by dozens of volunteers from throughout the community.
“It’s a blessing to see churches of all denominations working together,” planning committee member Carol Ingersoll said.
“Everyone is happy and working together. It’s a joy to see the sharing,” added planning committee member Hattie Lou Brown, a driving force behind the Feeding of the 5,000 for many years.
Organizers hope many diners will choose to enjoy the homemade pre-Thanksgiving meal at Union City First Baptist Church’s family life center or at one of the satellite locations in their own community in order to enjoy fellowship with others.
However, a number of meals will still be delivered to homebound residents, senior citizens and others in need in the local community and surrounding counties with the assistance of area churches, home health agencies and service organizations. Those meals will be packed from the host church’s kitchen in the basement of the main building.
To submit the name of someone who would benefit from receiving a meal, call 884-0820. An answering machine will be available to accept messages.
In addition, donations of canned or non-perishable food items will help stock the pantry shelves of Helping Hand Ministry, Reelfoot Rural Ministries, Shiloh Missionary Baptist’s feeding program and We Care Ministries — with those agencies to then distribute the food to those in need.
Area churches and schools, including all three of Union City’s schools, are currently conducting can drives to collect items, which local Scouts will deliver to the food pantries. In addition, some of the abundance of collected items will be donated to Chimes for Charity for distribution to less fortunate families at Christmas.
How to help
Organizers of the Christ-centered Feeding of the 5,000 ministry are once again counting on local churches, businesses, organizations, schools and individuals in order to get the meal from the planning stage to the dinner table. Many volunteers will be needed in order to ensure success.
Mrs. Brown said volunteers have been very generous in the past in offering to prepare dozens of turkeys, gallons of dressing, green beans and cooked apples and hundreds of pies.
A meal to serve 5,000 will require 300 cooked turkeys, 300 gallons of dressing, 100 gallons of gravy, 200 gallons each of green beans and cooked apples, 50 gallons of cranberry sauce and 625 pies.
Many churches are already lined up to bake pies, make dressing and prepare cooked apples or green beans, but additional help is always needed. Mrs. Brown said there is currently a need for additional pies (without meringue) and a need for volunteers to commit to prepare institutional-size cans of green beans and apples which are available from the planning committee.
Anyone interested in helping with cooking or serving may call 884-0820 and leave a message for the committee.
Volunteers will also be needed to help with serving meals at the host church’s family life center on Nov. 22, as well as to assist with preparing take-out meals for delivery and pickup by various churches or agencies.
Monetary donations will also be welcome from the community and organizers said a gift of $20 will purchase a turkey for the meal. Monetary donations may be sent to Community Feeding of the 5,000, P.O. Box 194, Union City, TN 38281.
With the event just a little over two weeks away, members of the planning committee are confident that God will supply every need for an event that has grown from year to year.
Just under 300 people were fed when Feeding of the 5,000 started locally 12 years ago. By comparison, records show 4,760 meals were served in 2010 — and Mrs. Brown feels the ministry will top 5,000 meals this year.
“We’ve got communities involved, working together, and the Lord’s going to bless it,” she said.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 11.3.11