Community Meals Network Plans Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving for many people isn’t the warm, jovial, family gathering envisioned. Rather, in some cases it is just another struggle to put food on the table and to dine alone.

The Derry Community Meals Network offers an alternative that features a traditional Thanksgiving meal and convivial company.

A free Thanksgiving Community Dinner is in the planning stages and is expected to serve 100 or more. The meal will be held at Derry’s Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, 1 Hood Road, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26.

Members of the Derry Community Meals Network include Transfiguration, Etz Hayim Synagogue, First Parish Congregational Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Sonshine Soup Kitchen, the Salvation Army, and West Running Brook Middle School.

The committee organizing the free dinner has been meeting to map out its needs and discuss sources for donations of food and financial support for the meal. The committee has developed posters advertising the event that will be placed at local grocery stores, libraries, houses of worship, apartment complexes, and Town Hall. Heading up this year’s effort is Mimi Cagle from Transfiguration.

At this time the following food items are needed: cans of cranberry sauce; individual butter patties; and bread and rolls. Members of the Derry Community Meals Network have accepted responsibility for contributing something to the meal, but any contributions of turkeys, appropriate vegetables (squash, peas, beans), potatoes, and anything else that makes a Thanksgiving meal a success will be welcomed. There is also a need for plastic utensils and for food containers for take-home meals.

The committee is looking for businesses, groups, or organizations to donate money to help with the purchase of food and supplies and to donate gift certificates for door prizes. Cagle said the donation of new adult winter clothing is being sought as well.

For questions, call Mimi Cagle at 216-5414.

The free, community meal is offered so that no one in the Derry community has to go without a Thanksgiving Day dinner or be alone on that day. Everyone is welcome and organizers hope that those in need of a great Thanksgiving Day meal or in need of company on that day will come and join others.