In the tradition of the Knights of Columbus who began the tradition more than 20 years ago, the First Presbyterian Church at 6th and Minnesota in Chickasha is offering a free Thanksgiving meal on Thursday.
The dinner will start at 11:30 a.m. in the church Fellowship Hall. Take-out meals will start from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. Requests for homebound delivery may be made by calling the Salvation Army at 224-5647 by 3 p.m. today (Wednesday).
“This dinner is for the homebound and anybody who finds themselves wanting to go someplace else for Thanksgiving dinner,” Pastor Barbara Hunt said.
Working with Mobile Meals, the church also expects to deliver warm Thanksgiving meals to 150 to 200 people.
Hunt and the Mobile meals volunteers plan routes, delivering eight to 10 meals at a time, with volunteers being provided a list of addresses, the number of meals to be delivered to each address (up to four) and a map in case they get lost Hunt said.
“One volunteer who always served the mashed potatoes called and said she was very sick, so we’re taking her a meal this year,” Hunt said.
While meals in the past were cooked on-site and individual dishes were donated, the church is making a few changes this year.
Because of health concerns about the flu and the community’s heightened awareness of the importance of avoiding touching objects that may have been touched by a person who is ill, items like condiments and utensils will be individually wrapped.
“There will be no common salt and pepper shakers and there will be no donated food,” Hunt said.
Instead, all items on the menu will be purchased pre-cooked and will simply be heated for the dinner.
The menu will include roasted turkey breast, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, hot rolls and pumpkin and pecan pie.
While the church will gladly accept any donations offered, the Thanksgiving dinner is free.
“This dinner is not part of the church budget,” Hunt said.
“It is covered strictly by donations. It is an effort of the entire town. We don’t have a lot of people in our church, but the ones we do have are community-minded. We like to partner with people.”
The day before the meal is served, Glenna Laird of Cornerstone Church will decorate the Fellowship Hall where the meal is to be served.
There is an elevator and there are handicapped-accessible restrooms available.
In addition to the annual Thanksgiving meal, First Presbyterian Church is also involved with the Summer Food and Fun program and the Food Pantry is housed in the facility.
“We do food in this church,” Hunt said.