Woodward, Okla. —
Volunteers at the First United Methodist Church will once again offer up a free community Thanksgiving Dinner.
The meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in the church's fellowship hall, 111 Downs Ave.
Scott Grunewald, co-chair of the dinner, said "This is probably the 15th year we've done this. We know there's people out there that just don't have a place to go on Thanksgiving for one reason or another, so we invite them to just come down and have a meal with us. Its a kind of community outreach we do to help people out."
Grunewald said volunteers served close to 400 people a year ago.
With such an ambitious task before them, it takes a real group effort from the congregation to achieve it.
"We start preparing everything on Wednesday," Grunewald said. "Members of the church fix salads and pies and desserts and bring them. We'll fix around 20 turkeys and we’ve got a group of guys showing up on Wednesday to peel 120 pounds of potatoes.
"We have an adopt a turkey program where we buy the turkeys and members of the congregation take them home, prepare them, and bring them up on Thursday. We've got one person in charge of just the stuffing and one who does just sweet potato casseroles. We even have 7th and 8th grade girls basketball teams volunteering to show up on Wednesday to help set up tables."
Church volunteers will also deliver meals on Thanksgiving.
"We do deliveries to people unable to get out," Grunewald said. "Anyone unable to get out on Thanksgiving can call the church up until Wednesday and we'll deliver a meal to them on Thanksgiving. We've got a crew solely dedicated to delivering meals, we just need a name and an address.
"We also make a point to take packaged meals out to the Fire Department, the EMS, the Police Department to feed those on-call during Thanksgiving."
People who need a meal delivered can contact the church at 256-5515.
"I'm so pleased with our church," Grunewald said. "They're so supportive of the event. We always have people looking to help by volunteering their time or food. It has been really nice to be able to get out and give back to others."