Eppson Center hosts Community Thanksgiving dinner

Great Falls church handing out Thanksgiving baskets on Thursday

Thanksgiving can be all about tradition, however there's one tradition in the Moorhead area people didn't see this year.

One of those friends said she would have had a very different Thanksgiving if it were not for the dinner.

She said she's extremely appreciative for the meal in front of her - Thanksgiving isn't the same without the classic turkey meal, she said - but she's even more grateful for the people at the table with her.

"I'm happy to be celebrating Thanksgiving in the church - we've been coming here 15 years", he said.

Robert Rhodes of Council Grove was one of the many church members helping out with the Thanksgiving meal Thursday.

He says it's not about a lack of leadership or service at either church, just bad timing.

"We see [people] losing [their] jobs, just hard luck right now", initiative organizer and food pantry coordinator Angie Moton said.

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At last count 400 meals had been given away. Again, on Thursday, Nov. 23, the meal deliveries will occur. They were in aprons and cooking before sunrise to warm food they had been preparing for the past week to feed more than 200 residents. "I have 24 rolls (of music) for it, if anybody wants them". "Our Kountze cooks cooked 22 20-lb turkeys, and Wheatfield's provided stuffing and gravy and Rotella provides some rolls", said Engelkamp.

She said coordinating such a large event, with so many people, can be a challenge - but the challenge is worth it. The meals are meant to be ordered and can either be picked up or delivered right to your door at no cost.

"They're nice people here", she said.

Kelley and current Pittsburg County Assessor Michelle Fields did some calculations to determine just how much food it has taken for this year's Community Thanksgiving Dinner, starting with ingredients for the dressing.

As the dinner has grown in popularity, Stewart said First Presbyterian needed help with meal preparation because of a lack of space.

"I was born on Thanksgiving", Bates said, "so this is how I get my Thanksgiving celebration".

Volunteers Stephanie Strader and her family saw it as a way to give back to the community and saw the dinner as meaningful place to do so.

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