The Solid Rock Church of God in Centerville served or delivered more than 350 meals Thanksgiving Day last year, said Lora Clayworth, who is the church’s Women’s Discipleship president and the group credited with starting this yearly community outreach.
This year will be the church’s 30th year of serving free Thanksgiving Day meals, Clayworth said. They decided to order more food for this year’s meal because they are expecting an even bigger turnout in part due to the poor economy.
The entire affair is built on local business donations, volunteers and church member contributions.
For instance, three local businesses donated to go containers. The church sold as a fundraiser pizza coupons from a local convenience store. And church members will donate food items and volunteer to cook, serve and deliver the meals.
Clayworth said between 15 and 18 volunteers will show up. Some the night before to do prep work and others the day of to cook, serve, deliver and clean.
“We couldn’t do it without all of the volunteers,” Clayworth said, who is taking part in her fifth Thanksgiving Day meal. “We are a team. It’s a great production line and it runs very smooth.”
Clayworth said of the more than 350 meals they passed out last year, approximately 300 of those meals were delivered.
“So, it’s really nice we can take it to their door and they can have a nice dinner,” Clayworth said of the many recipients.
One place most people wouldn’t expect the Solid Rock to deliver their free Thanksgiving Day meal is the Appanoose County jail.
Clayworth said last year they delivered 25 meals to the jail for both the employees and prisoners.
“And usually if we have anything left over, they take it,” Clayworth said.
Pastor Tony Angran said the Thanksgiving Day meal is the church’s big focus for the year. The meal is about feeding the hungry.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Angran said. “It’s what the churches should be doing. It’s ministry. It’s feeding the hungry. We’re actually doing Biblical things that we should be doing all of the way through.”
Wife Diana Angran said: “It’s a privilege for us to be here and to be involved with a church that is community-minded and that reaches out and cares.”
This year’s Thanksgiving Day free meal at Solid Rock Church of God in Centerville will be the Angran’s first. They are in their first year at the church after arriving in December of 2012.
Expect an traditional Thanksgiving Day meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, pies, rolls and drink.
It’s free in all sense of the word. You will not be asked for a donation, but, as Clayworth said, if someone does want to donate, the money will go into a fund for the 2014 Thanksgiving Day meal.
Come to the Solid Rock Church of God at 1220 Rock Valley Road from 12-2 p.m. to be served or else call the church at (641) 856-8308 to arraign in town delivery or to offer to volunteer to help.