MASSENA - St. Vincent de Paul Society served between 320 and 330 Thanksgiving meals last year in Massena, and this year organizers are anticipating similar numbers.
Its hard to tell, but I dont think its going to be any less, according to Martha Slack, who organizes the meal on behalf of the society.
Massenas meal will again be hosted from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday at the VFW post on West Hatfield Street
Its open to anyone, Ms. Slack said, adding the meal is free and rides are available for people who cant get their on their own.
To arrange for a ride, call the VFW on Thursday at 769-3434. Take-outs will also be available.
Im sure we get people who cant afford to put on a meal, but we also get a lot of people who just dont want to be alone and are looking for company, she noted.
Ms. Slack said the meal will include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing and desserts.
Its everything there should be at a Thanksgiving dinner, she said, adding most of the food for the feast is donated through the communitys Catholic churches.
But in addition to all those who donated foot to make the meal happen, Ms. Slack also said there is a large team of volunteers involved.
Between Wednesday and Thursday, I would say theres 100 volunteers, she said. We couldnt do it without the volunteers.
In Potsdam, the Trinity Episcopal Church will be hosting a meal in their parish hall from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The Thanksgiving feast is simply an extension of their free-will dinner program that continues all throughout the year.
We do it every month, but this is a special version, Father Christopher Brown said. We do it up big for Thanksgiving.
Father Brown said the church served between 60 and 80 meals last year and hes expecting a similar number again, but if more people show up thats OK.
Well take all comers, he said.
The folks who typically come struggle to put food on the table or dont have families to celebrate the holiday with, he said.
Potsdams dinner also would not be possible if it wasnt for a team of volunteers cooking, serving and cleaning up after the meal.
We get a lot of college kids who come out and some of our parishioners too, he said, estimating theres approximately 20 volunteers involved.
While donations will be accepted, Father Brown stressed the meal is free and donations are not expected.
He also said he wanted people to be aware that this years dinner is being held earlier than they have been in the past.
In the past, its been a bit later, he said.
This years meal will be served from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Father Brown also noted the church will host its annual Thanksgiving service at 10 a.m. Thursday.
The menu will include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, vegetables, rolls, cranberry sauce and pie for dessert.