SOUTHINGTON - Volunteers from Grace United Methodist Church are preparing home-cooked meals for those in need for the fourth consecutive year this Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving meal will begin around 11 a.m. Thursday at the church at 121 Pleasant St.
Grace United Methodist Church invites those who would otherwise be without a place to go or without people they can share a meal with to enjoy the camaraderie of a nice, sit-down meal.
Paul Champagne, a former town councilor who attends the church, will be preparing and serving food along with his wife and grandchildren that day.
“There are usually about 100 people who come to eat and 20 or so volunteers,” said Champagne. “Everyone gets fed. All of the food is donated by church members who prepare it from scratch at home. Nothing is store-bought. Those who join us don’t have to stand in a buffet line either; everything is served to them. It’s more special that way.
“My wife and I are making vegetables and rolls this year. We prepared a turkey last year, but we rotate turkey duty because everybody wants to make one. It’s the signature part of the meal and everybody likes to do it a little differently. It’s really a lot of fun for us. My grandchildren are also volunteering for the third year this year. They recognize the need.”
Champagne said the church began serving Thanksgiving meals out of necessity.
“Many people had nowhere else to go,” he said. “Bread for Life shuts down so people had to fend for themselves. This event doesn’t just serve the homeless, but also many elderly folks who don’t live near their families and are unable to travel. This is our church’s way of helping to give back and we’ve always found it to be very beneficial. People really seem to appreciate it.”
To register, call Grace United Methodist Church at 860-628-6996.
For more information on Grace United Methodist Church, visit facebook.com/GraceUMChurch121.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.