Thursday will be here in no time. Hopefully my mini van will be repaired soon. But for now, I’m in a rental for Thanksgiving. I plan to pick my car up first thing in the morning. Then get started on my hefty drink list for the family dinner. Yes, I’m in charge of drinks. We’re having kombucha, green tea, Jamaican hibiscus Sorrel, and bottled water. Not one soda will I purchase. My prayer for the last week is that everyone arrives safely and no one throws a dinner roll at me!
But just in case my Enterprise Car rental falls through for my family of —many. I am looking for dinner alternatives. Rush cooking has never been my thing. I figured that we would find a local place where we could both volunteer at and dine in.
So, here’s what I found online. Turns out there a quite a few places to dine, help and donate in the Charlotte area.
Food pantries, some of which also have a soup kitchen on site, may provide help in one of two ways. These tend to be “hyper” local in that they only serve people in a limited area and each center has their own application process, resources, and hours of operation.
- Food banks may only give a Thanksgiving holiday turkey as well as the sides, such as cranberry, gravy, bread and other items, to an income qualified family and their children.
- Soup kitchens may be located at some food banks. These sites will tend to serve an entire hot dinner to individuals, including the homeless.
- Some of these charity run food pantries may give the client a gift certificate to redeem at a local supermarket. This will allow the family to buy their own turkey
It is recommended to call or stop by a pantry to learn more on what they offer. Anyone that is seeking help at Thanksgiving (or really any holiday) should ask in advance what type of services are provided, and do not wait until November rolls around. Find how to get help from a food pantry.
The homebound, disabled, and senior citizens that can’t make it to a feeding site should register for Thanksgiving assistance from a Meals on Wheels provider. These tend to be offered as year round services. Some of the administering agencies may charge the client, or “encourage” a donation. Other Meals on Wheels services are free, especially those offered from Agency on Aging Centers. and maybe other food items.
Free Thanksgiving lunches or dinners may also be served by churches or other faith based groups. There will not be any discrimination based on age, religion, or race and anyone can drop in. Churches, such as St. Vincent de Paul or Catholic Charities do their best to feed the poor at Thanksgiving. The goal is to spread holiday joy to all, especially to children and the elderly.
The meals served by a church depend on volunteers and donations. They rely on stores, restaurants, fund raisers, and other sources of money in an effort to offer these Thanksgiving programs. Anyone that uses a soup kitchen at a local church is always encouraged to also volunteer in an effort to give back to the needy.
And if you are a military family like mine, check this out!
Military veterans have so many benefits even after leaving the service and Thanksgiving is no exception. During the holiday season there are special events that include veterans’ and not just active duty, family members and government employees.
If none of that works out, I will get my daughter Cassie of Cassie’s Sweetz to create us a Sweet Potato Wonderland!
Well friends, where ever you find yourself on Thursday, may the Joy of family, Gratefulness and Love find you there!
I’m smart, because I know where to find good information. See my resources below: