Volunteers Step Up to Provide Thanksgiving Meals

Unger said when she began volunteering, 100 to 200 meals were delivered annually.

In total, 1,825 meals were served at the event.

"It's just a church effort, and it's just a great thing to be able to give back to the community", Dan Monken said.

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.

Shirley Bates has attended the dinner for four years.

"We lost our husbands different times through the years so we're all widows and widowers...namely Henry and this makes it so much easier", added friend, Evi Costa.

"I can't get over it, just to be here right now it's good it's a good feeling", Maria Renojo said.

The dinner served West along with almost 3,000 other people Thanksgiving Day.

"It's been wonderful. It's been a good turnout".

However, Peterson says while 2017 didn't work out for this turkey day, the community should know the churches are hoping to bring back the tradition.

In addition to food and fellowship, a local band played songs for the guests including a rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama" with the words changed to personalize the song to Ashtabula.

He and his son-in-law delivered about a dozen meals to people across the community.

"We had 300 deliveries". The non-profit group is made up of various churches in Blackfoot who have come together to serve.

A kitchen tool called a Buffalo Crusher was set up to mash 600 pounds of potatoes, but it bit the dust before all the spuds were done.

"We have plenty of volunteers".

George Pangratz, of Girard, Pennsylvania, said he spends a lot of time in Conneaut and enjoys coming to the holiday dinner.

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

St. Joseph alternates offering a holiday meal every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Emma Maki, 5, was a volunteer in charge of handing out dinner rolls.

Allison Siverly helped coordinate the outside delivery of meals and said the church had 51 locations to bring food to for Thanksgiving.

"We have been doing this every Thanksgiving since I was a kid", said Brewster, who lives in Huntington, West Virginia.

And that's something Ackerman said the organization is thankful for each year.

  • Marlene Weaver