"(In 2016), we had about 400 people and it increased probably 50-60 people from the previous year", he said.
"Everything that you can think of that you would have in your own Thanksgiving meal, we want to make sure every family has access to that", Heiple said. We fed almost 500 people past year, which was about 40 large pans of dressing, so trying to help take some weight off of Myra and our staff we thought it would be fun to do a dressing cookoff.We will have some special judges coming out, and we will be giving prizes to the victor and runners-up. Sleyster says both volunteers and attendees have made the dinner a special event for a quarter-century. More than one family of volunteers have told Heiple the community Thanksgiving meal was the most meaningful and impactful thing they did as a family. Past year 655 meals were served, with 125 people volunteering from 14 churches.
Sandra Hudson said she has spent a good part of each Thanksgiving and Christmas days for the last 25 years helping to serve food to the needy and lonely as part of the Michigan City Holiday Meals program.
This is the 13th year for the community dinner, held at St. Joseph Parish Life Center on Pearl Street. "That's what God gives us to do", Marvin Collins says.
Trinity United Meth-odist Church will have its annual free Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 23, from 11 a.m.to 1 p.m.at the church. "We will have Santa on Thanksgiving if any children are coming", Roach said. Let them know that we will feed you, we will clothe you, and we will take care of you.
At the Big Arm Fire Hall on the west side of Flathead Lake there is another free dinner that all are welcome to attend from 12-2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18.
The food comes from church members and the donation is from local businesses and other churches. Each Thanksgiving, the event grew more popular. "We use the cash donations to cover the costs of any items that are not donated". The meal is free, and there will NOT be a freewill offering accepted.
"More and more people became involved", said Sleyster.
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