Warrick County community members in need will once again have the opportunity to eat a hot meal delivered to them next week thanks to the 19th Annual Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
The event is being coordinated by Anita and Gary Young of The Streams Ministry in Boonville, who took the reins over from the Mayers, the family who originally started it nearly 20 years ago. Gary Young said over 300 people are expected to receive meals on Thanksgiving Day this year and they are still in need of volunteers to help either donate, package or deliver the food.
“They each get green beans, corn, dressing, mashed potatoes, turkey and a desert of either pumpkin pie or chocolate cake — they can choose,” Gary Young said. “We let a few order two meals because some people don’t have anything for Thanksgiving.”
The need is high.
“There are those people, through whether it’s possibly a mental health issue or physically they are not able to get out,” he said. “And some people don’t have any family.”
Recently, the Youngs have helped to provide a meal and Bible study for Governor Boon Square Apartment residents every Monday night, followed by a Bible study.
“One lady two weeks ago said, ‘I’m really glad you brought a meal today because if you hadn’t, I wouldn’t have had a meal, I didn’t have any food in my pantry,’” Gary Young said.
As for the Thanksgiving meal, Young said he is grateful for the hard work that is put in by the volunteers willing to work on Thanksgiving Day to help out those in need.
“For those who are delivering meals, they come here about 8 a.m., deliver the food and can
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be home by noon, so they still get to have their Thanksgiving at home too,” he said. “But, they make the sacrifice of getting up and leaving their homes and dropping off meals.”
While other volunteers dedicate their mornings to helping out at the assembly line at St. Clement Catholic Church in Boonville.
“We have three or four men who every year do the mashed potatoes,” Gary Young said. “They are the ‘mashed potato guys.’”
For anyone interested in either volunteering for the 19th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner or if anyone is in need of having a meal delivered to them, visit: https://www.facebook.com/TheCommunityThanksgivingDinner/ and https://signup.com/client/invitation2/secure/2976356/false#/invitation.
Signups must be made by Friday, Nov. 22.
“You get the reward of helping someone in need and I think it makes everybody’s Thanksgiving much richer,” Gary Young said. “When you stand there with a hot meal and you look a family in the face who may not have a Thanksgiving dinner without you, it’s so fulfilling.”