Community comes together for Thanksgiving feast at Greenville church

Eash said the food is donated or purchased with donations to the church.


The church’s leader, the Rev. Charles Jacobs, said the Thanksgiving meal is not only for the homeless or the needy – there was also a number of parishioners and volunteers eating Thursday afternoon – but for anyone who wants a meal.

The entire Arnold community is involved in staging the meal, Pastor Sharon Waltenbaugh said.

The annual meal organized by First Presbyterian Church serves more than 200 each year.

Area residents can eat a free Thanksgiving meal Thursday in Cloquet, thanks to the efforts of volunteers pulling it together in the past two weeks.

The Community Thanksgiving Dinner has a 27-year history in Jamestown and traces its beginning back to an event at Pantry Cafe.

Church members cooked nine turkeys, dozens of sides, and a few pies. “There’s no one person”, said Joe Lucas. They found that Steinbrink’s Piggly Wiggly, 7600 Pershing Blvd., could replenish their poultry.

Meals were served to those at the church in the main dining room.

The final step of the turkey fix is the fixin’ itself.

Christina and Wil Rios are both trained chefs, so working under pressure is nothing new. Hearing the news, Kennedy, made a decision to step up and sponsor this years Thanksgiving meal expressing that it seemed like the right thing to do. They have traveled to the church the last three years to enjoy the good food and good company.

It’s one of the city of Rockford’s biggest and longest running community Thanksgiving dinners.

“But we keep adding more and more people every year, so it is so hard to predict how much we will need”, Beilke said. “It’s what Jesus would do”. Volunteers said they get as much or more out of the experience as the meal recipients do.

“I like cooking, but I don’t get to cook – except at home all the time – so when I get to do something like this, it really makes me happy”, he said.

Bringing together members from all parts of the community.

“We volunteer all the time”, Green said.


The food was well received, and some attendees took home leftovers.

Otterbein United Methodist Church serves more than 200 meals