Hundreds Gather For Thanksgiving Feast, Community At Eugene Mission

Chefs and volunteers at the Eugene Mission prepared more than two tons of turkey, heaps of side dishes and hundreds of pies and gave the community a place to reconnect, sit and share a meal Thursday.

The mission has been preparing for its annual Thanksgiving feast since last week, Sheryl Balthrop, the organization's executive director, said. They expected its biggest attendance yet.

Typically, the mission's Thanksgiving feast feeds 700 to 800. This year, they were expecting 1,500, Balthrop said.

Staff, guests and volunteers had ended up feeding 850 people during the feast and sending out another 500 meals with CAHOOTS, said Beth Sheehan, the mission's director of philanthropy.

Eugene Mission assistant chef Tino Mendoza-Cruz wrestles a 42-pound turkey into the pan as preparation for a free community Thanksgiving meal are underway at the Eugene non-profit.
Eugene Mission assistant chef Tino Mendoza-Cruz wrestles a 42-pound turkey into the pan as preparation for a free community Thanksgiving meal are underway at the Eugene non-profit.

The dinner was the only free grab-and-go Thanksgiving dinner of its size that Balthrop knows of in the area. Staff checked in with the organizers of the Whiteaker Community Thanksgiving Dinner, a long-running event that is indefinitely canceled.

Organizers called off last year's dinner in the Whiteaker neighborhood because of public health and safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. Additional changes in support and coordination needed to put on the free dinner led them to cancel it in coming years as well.

The pandemic led to some changes in the Mission's feast — it's been indoors in the past but this year was outside under tents next to the organization's donation warehouse.

The mission got heaters in case the weather was frigid, but they weren't necessary as the sun was shining and temperatures hit the mid 50s.

For local stories that matter, subscribe today.

People gathered mostly in the sun to talk and eat the plethora of food available.

The mission's chefs had cooked more than 250 turkeys Wednesday afternoon, and more than 80 volunteers worked to strip the meat off and set up tents and tables and chairs to seat 300.

"Our hope is that we have such a great turnout that we don’t have any food left," Balthrop said Wednesday.

The mission did send to-go boxes with CAHOOTS drivers, who ate Thursday, then delivered food during their afternoon and evening rounds to unhoused people in camps that were further away from the donation warehouse, Sheehan said.

But organizers hoped people would be able to take it as "an opportunity to sit and share a meal," Balthrop said.

People have been isolated, she said, and the feast offered a chance to gather together.

Volunteer Jeff Stinson cleans off tables in preparation for a community Thanksgiving dinner at the Eugene Mission.
Volunteer Jeff Stinson cleans off tables in preparation for a community Thanksgiving dinner at the Eugene Mission.

The dinner is also a chance for the mission's guests, who have been really excited for the feast, to showcase their amazing talents, Balthrop said. They helped with cooking and preparing the meal and worked shifts to help serve it.

People came out "in force" with both donations and their time to help the mission put on the feast, Balthrop said.

So many people volunteered to help serve the meal that they had to tell people they were full, she said. Area companies, organizations and individuals donated a "large volume" of food.

Contact city government watchdog Megan Banta at mbanta@registerguard.com. Follow her on Twitter @MeganBanta_1.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Hundreds gather for Thanksgiving feast, community at Eugene Mission

Source : https://news.yahoo.com/hundreds-gather-thanksgiving-feast-community-225913308.html

785
Hundreds gather for Thanksgiving feast, community at Eugene Mission

Source:YAHOO!News

Hundreds gather for Thanksgiving feast, community at Eugene Mission

Carson City community Thanksgiving dinner happening Thursday at the Carson Nugget

Source:Carson Now

Carson City community Thanksgiving dinner happening Thursday at the Carson Nugget

Thanksgiving 2021: How groups like Water Street Mission, Friscos Chicken are giving back to Lancaster County communities

Source:Lancaster Online

Thanksgiving 2021: How groups like Water Street Mission, Friscos Chicken are giving back to Lancaster County communities