This is the 13th year that the community has been invited to attend a Thanksgiving Day meal. The idea of providing a meal for the community began with a group of local churches looking to meet the needs of the community. For the past four years Lowell’s Open Table has taken over the planning and hosting of the annual event.
Eat and Be Thankful
While many have plans with larger groups of friends or family for Thanksgiving Day, there are still a significant number of people in the community who could be left to eat alone. Or a family may not have means to prepare a full meal or a home with just two people may not feel all of the meal preparation is worth it. Regardless of the reason, all those who are interested are invited to a full Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day.
The meal will include turkey, baked ham, and all of the traditional sides which include cranberry sauce, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and bread. And pies and cookies will be offered for dessert. Local businesses have donated items which will be used to prepare the meal. King Milling has donated turkeys, Sage’s Meat Processing has donated sausage which will be used in the stuffing, Meijer will provide the rolls, and Flat River Outreach Ministries contributed ham.
Over the course of three hours at least 250 guests are anticipated to attend. The buffet style meal will have three different one hour seatings beginning at noon, 1pm, and 2pm, however guests are invited to come at any time. An RSVP is highly encouraged to ensure enough food is available. Volunteers are also needed the day before Thanksgiving as well as Thanksgiving Day to help with meal preparation, serve as hosts, dishing food, washing dishes, wiping down tables, and general clean up. Volunteers are able to also eat themselves before their assigned shift starts or after it has concluded. Shifts start at 8am the day before Thanksgiving and conclude at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day. Over 60 volunteers make this community meal happen each year.
Being Part of a Community
The annual Thanksgiving Day meal and weekly Open Table dinners look to bring community together regardless of religious, political, social, or economical differences. For those involved with Open Table it’s much more than providing a meal. “It’s a great way to meet the people who live in your community that you might not normally encounter in your day to day life.” says Open Table Volunteer Coordinator Laurie McKee. “It’s a wonderful place to gather and connect whether you’re a volunteer or guest you’ll come away feeling enlivened through this experience.” McKee relocated to the Lowell community two years ago from Illinois and has been involved with Open Table for a year.
The Community Thanksgiving Meal will be served on Thanksgiving Day, November 28 at 865 Lincoln Lake. The following is helpful information should someone in the community have questions, wishes to attend the meal, or would like to volunteer.
- Call 616-897-5906
- Sign up on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1392889427526944/
- RSVP for meal https://signup.com/go/jRdABDL
- Volunteer opportunities https://signup.com/go/jimkWpr
Photos courtesy of Open Table and used with permission.