A tradition of reaching out to the hungry, and lonely, is expected to continue this week as area churches, businesses and civic organizations reach out to those in need on Thanksgiving.
More than 100 area families will benefit from the efforts of Catholic Charities and area schools and civic organizations.
Catholic Charities Executive Director Lynn Zalewski said all the Thanksgiving meal trimmings, and a gift certificate for a turkey and other items, will be provided to 100 area families who have already signed up for the option.
St. John School had a competition to provide canned goods for the program that will be put together Tuesday at the former Mother of Sorrows School gymnasium in Ashtabula.
On Thanksgiving Day Lighthouse Harvest Foundation, located in the former armory on State Road in Ashtabula Township, will provide a Thanksgiving dinner. “It is a full Thanksgiving dinner with the trimmings,” said Shirley Hanna, one of the founders of the organization. “We can always use volunteers,” Hanna said of people who help make the event a reality. “I think we are going to have a lot larger crowd this year,” she said.
Hanna said the foundation is offering rides to the event so people can call to make an appointment.
“Anyone can call for a ride. Everyone is welcome. It’s from 11:30 to 2 p.m.,” she said.
The Corpus Christi Parish in Conneaut is planning for a big turnout at the sixth annual dinner held at the former school on Mill Street. “We will be delivering (meals) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. within our serving area,” said Renee Roach, who organizes the event. She said delivery has included Conneaut, Kingsville, North Kingsville, Monroe, Pierpont and Sheffield townships.
The on-site dinner is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. at the school with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. “This year we are cooking 75 turkeys. We started in September,” she said of the process that includes the preparation of 10 turkeys a week.
The same time schedule will be used for a Dec. 16 Christmas Dinner at the former school which will feature stuffed shells and meatballs, Roach said. “We will have Santa on Thanksgiving if any children are coming,” Roach said. “We ask people to call and let us know if they are coming or give their address if they need delivery,” she said.
Veterans are also invited to a free Thanksgiving Dinner from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at the American Legion Post on Carpenter Road in Ashtabula.
G.O. Development Corp. will also host a Thanksgiving Day Dinner from 1 to 4 p.m. at the organization headquarters on Station Avenue in Ashtabula with the traditional turkey, stuffing, yams, green beans, macaroni and cheese among the offerings said Frances Norman, the food corrdinator for the organization.
Deb’s Diner will open her doors for a full Thanksgiving meal for the 11th straight year, said owner Deb Tuckish. She said turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes and deserts will be a part of the event.
“Every year I say I’m not going to do it and somebody will say ‘You literally saved my life’ and I say ‘OK God. I will do it again,” Tuckish said. She said the restaurant will be open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with everyone invited.
Tuckish said her customers help make the event a reality every year through volunteering and providing donations.
The Pentecostal Community Church, on Route 6 and 5348 Peck Road in New Lyme, will also hold a free traditional Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday from noon to 4 p.m.
The meal is open to all and will be held in the new Fellowship/Educational building.