Local churches offer Thanksgiving mealsPublished 12:26pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012
By A.J. Watson, Staff writer
While most people are thankful for what they’ve received on Thanksgiving Day, members of local churches are thankful just to give. Thanks to the generosity of these churches, two free Thanksgiving meals will be available in Alexander City this year.
Nancy Miller, coordinator for the Thanksgiving Day meal service at Trinity, said that one event will be hosted at Trinity United Methodist Church, located at 3266 Hwy. 280 in Alexander City from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Church members and volunteers will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal consisting of turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans and dessert to residents in need of a hardy meal for the holidays.
“We do a lot of outreach to the community in Trinity, and it is a blessing to be able to afford to help these people,” Miller said. “We send letters out to the community and businesses, and some of them respond with donations of food and money.”
Miller said that over the years she has seen the service grow to serve up to 200 people, and she doesn’t expect that number to slack off this year.
“We have usually had 150 or 175 (people), but this year it seems like there are more people in need,” she said. “(The meal) is for the people in the community who don’t have the money to buy the food and who are alone on Thanksgiving and don’t have anyone to eat with.”
Miller said some of the businesses that are particularly helpful include Arby’s, Jackson’s Refrigeration, Abernathy and Britton and Artistic Hairstyles.
“With this particular meal, it is all free, but we give out tickets,” Miller said. “They’re available at several locations like the Department of Human Resources, Salvation Army, Red Cross and United Way, the Alexander City Nutrition Center, the Christian Crisis Center and of course the church.”
Another opportunity for a Thanksgiving meal will be at the Benjamin Russell High School cafeteria from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., sponsored by several local churches.
“It seems like it has grown every year,” said Mike Waldrop with River of Life Worship Center. “With the economy, people are just struggling a little bit more than what they used to.”
Waldrop said they served about 100 people last year. Participating churches include River of Life Worship Center, West End Church, Marshall Street Church of God, Liberty Life Christian Center, Church of God of Prophecy and individuals from other churches.
“We just want to share the love of the Lord,” Waldrop said.
Waldrop said they will also be delivering about 300 plates of food to local police officers, firefighters, nursing home staff and Bill Nichols State Veterans Home staff as a way of saying thanks.
Meals will include turkey, ham, corn, green beans, dressing, potatoes, bread, cranberry sauce and desserts.
“I personally know what it feels like to need a helping hand,” Waldrop said. “Sometimes you’re on the giving side; sometimes you’re on the receiving side.”
To find out more about the free meal at BRHS or to donate or volunteer, call 256-329-9593 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the meal at Trinity United Methodist Church, call the church office at 256-234-2455 or Miller at 256-825-7372.