Thanksgiving is the time of year to be grateful and to celebrate the simple things in life – family, friends, food. It is also the time of year to reach out a helping hand to those less fortunate and this year, there are local area organizations and businesses with plans to do so. With the country still dealing with the pandemic, the procedures of the giving may change, but the spirit is still the same. Everyone deserves a holiday.
715 Torrey Rd., Fenton
Each year, The Barn restaurant teams up with the Warda Foundation to provide a turkey meal with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day to anyone in need or wants to share a meal with others, according to Jason Warda, Owner. “Everyone who wants a hot meal is welcome,” he says. The meal will be served on November 26, from 11am-2pm. Guests can also enjoy some fun family activities and fill a gift bag with any items they may need, including clothing, toiletries and more. Last year, The Barn served 145 guests and they also provided takeout and delivery, serving a total of over 250 meals. Area volunteers help provide food and transportation, if needed. The Warda Foundation is a local charitable organization dedicated to giving back to the community.
Carriage Town Ministries
695 Garland St., Flint
Carriage Town will provide a hot Thanksgiving meal to-go at 5:15pm on Thanksgiving Day, and all are welcome. For the season, the organization is in need of donations of hats, scarves and warm gloves. They are also accepting donations to cover the cost of meals. Donations can be made at carriagetown.org/donate
Carriage Town Ministries is also collecting blankets in partnership with Samuel’s Blankets. The blankets will be distributed to those in need on December 5 during the Winter Warm-up Walk that starts in the CTM parking lot and ends at Catholic Charities Center for Hope.
Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties
North End Soup Kitchen
735 E. Stewart Ave., Flint
This facility serves meals every day of the year, including Thanksgiving, according to Director of Community Services, John Manse. “We plan to be open and serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings,” he says. “Due to COVID-19, we are going to do things a bit differently this year. We normally have around 300 people come to eat and this year, we are going to serve in shifts. Every half hour, we will allow up to 30 people to come in for a sit-down meal, with guests seated three per table and eight feet apart.”
Dinner will be served on November 26, from 11am-1pm and those who do not want to wait to be seated can get their meal to-go. The dinner includes turkey, dressing, potatoes and gravy, pie and salad. “In addition to the food, we traditionally give away personal care items and other household goods for people to take home.”
According to Manse, volunteers are needed. “We are always looking for help in the kitchen or in our gym sorting items to be given away or brought to our warehouse. Because of the pandemic, our volunteer numbers have dropped. We supply masks, gloves, and take temps. We serve meals to-go, so there is no chance for our volunteers to be around our visitors,” Manse says. “We hope that Thanksgiving is just the starting point to serve indoors again. The soup kitchen has been lucky that our volunteers and clients have had no issues with COVID. Since the beginning, we never stopped helping the community each day with groceries, hot food, sack lunches and other necessities.”
If you wish to volunteer, e-mail John Manse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Salvation Army
Flint Beecher Corps
1475 Coldwater Rd., Flint
The public is invited to enjoy a free pre-Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday, November 24, from 5-8pm at Salvation Army Beecher Corps headquarters. The traditional turkey dinner will be complete, including holiday pies. Carry-out ONLY!