This year will mark the third that St. Luke’s Episcopal and First United Methodist churches have joined forces to feed the community at Thanksgiving.. This year a meal will be served from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23, in the parish hall of St. Luke’s at the corner of Church Avenue and Dayton Street.

Volunteers will offer a buffet-style lunch consisting of turkey, ham, dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, yeast rolls and dessert. Guests may dine in or carry out. To have meals delivered in the Jacksonville area, residents may call St. Luke’s at 256-782-9271 between 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Nov. 15-17 or Nov. 20-22. Reservations are not required for take in or take out. There is no charge. The churches are accepting volunteers and monetary contributions.

Co-chairs this year are Dawn Bowden, Jim Lloyd and Jill Pike.

“We see this as a way to reach out to the community and do something,” Lloyd said. “It’s a way for us to give back. I think last year we had upwards of 450 meals served. I would think it would be around that same number this year. We don’t keep a formal count, but

judging by plates and boxes we use, that would be correct.”

Nine hams and about 40 turkeys are cooked. Lloyd said volunteers begin loading the food around 10 a.m., and it’s on the road by 11 a.m.

Rev. Andy Curtis of First United Methodist said, everyone has so much to be thankful for.

“As Christ-followers, we are reminded of this each time we gather together to break the bread and share the cup at The Lord’s Table,” he said. “So, for us it is quite fitting for members of our congregations to share and celebrate with our community around a bountiful and blessing-filled meal. As members of St. Luke’s Episcopal and Jacksonville First United Church, we are grateful to share in and be a part of this celebration.”

The meals offer an opportunity for those who don’t travel or go to family gatherings to enjoy Thanksgiving in fellowship with others.

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