LEMONT, CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– While Thanksgiving is a time for many to spend time with friends and family, there are also many who feel there’s no place to go and nobody to be this this holiday.
But, many places throughout Central Pennsylvania are opening their doors to the community for free Thanksgiving meals.
One such place is the Mt. Nittany United Methodist Church in Lemont, where hundreds of traditional Thanksgiving meals will be served.
Inside the church’s kitchen, 28 turkeys were deboned, cooked, and carved. Just how much turkey will they serve? More than 400 pounds… which will serve about 400 people.
Offering this much food takes about 50 volunteers from the church and community.
“I feel truly blessed that we have such wonderful people who give of their time, food and donations to provide a meal for perhaps somebody who would not have one otherwise,”said Patty DeCapria, Lay Minister, at the church.
They’ll be serving much more than turkey too. The meal will include: stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, and about 50 pies (pumpkin and fruit).
All ingredients were donated by locals.
Doors for the dinner open Thanksgiving Day at 3:30 pm and will stay open until 6:00 pm. The church, located on 1500 East Branch Road, can transport locals to their fellowship hall (family life center) and deliver meals as well.
The church has been offering the meal for more than 10 years, and organizers say they have no plans to stop.
“I think it’s important for the community come into our church and know that we’re here for them, and so that nobody’s alone for the holiday. I’d hate to have anybody stay at home by themselves and not be with other people in fellowship,” said Meal Coordinator Wendy Franklin.
She added: “I love doing it… I get very tearful when I see the volunteers coming in from outside the church. It’s a very rewarding experience to be with those on a holiday so they’re not alone, and it’s great to talk to people.”
Franklin spoke with WTAJ live Thanksgiving morning. More on the importance of this community meal (and a sampling of the turkey) is in the videos below.
Mt. Nittany United Methodist Church can be contacted at: (814)-237-3549