MT. VERNON — —
A holiday tradition that started 17 years ago will continue at Central Christian Church Thursday when a free Thanksgiving dinner will be served.
This year the dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the cafeteria at the District 80 Primary Center at 401 N. 30th St. due to construction at the church.
The first year the church fed about 100 people. In 2011, the dinner hosted around 1,650 people. This year, a group of volunteers is making preparation to serve 1,800 people.
Organizer Steve Reynolds said the tradition began when Dr. Oza had the passion to feed Mt. Vernon area residents. Reynolds took over the organization of the dinner the following year and it has grown every year since.
“There's been a lot of history in doing this type of thing,” said Reynolds. “We've been able to help get this organized and started in Centralia and Carlyle just by what we do here. We've trained them on how we do it. It seems like a job that's growing, and I know there's a need out there, and that's why we do it.”
He added, “No one wants to spend Thanksgiving alone. Maybe one day they can come in and fellowship with us and we can provide them with a good meal and spend some quality time just talking.”
The dinner will consist of traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, dressing, vegetables, hot rolls and homemade apple, blackberry and peach cobbler.
The church also delivers dinners for the Jefferson County meals on wheels program and the local fire and police departments. This year, for the first time, Central will deliver meals to Lifeboat Alliance.
The church will also be delivering meals to homes of elderly, disabled or homebound people. However, you must call the church at 242-4185 by noon Wednesday. There will be no general deliveries.