Local groups hosting free Thanksgiving dinners
Story updated at 2:56 p.m. Nov. 26
OGEMAW COUNTY — Several area groups will be hosting free Thanksgiving Day dinners for area residents Nov. 28.
St. Francis Parish will be providing meals from noon to 3 p.m. at 2811 E. Greenwood Rd in Skidway Lake.
Ogemaw Hills Free Methodist Church will be delivering meals to those who cannot leave their homes and hosting a dinner from 2-6 p.m. at 3480 W. M-55.
Hale Area Project Hope will be hosting a community meal from 1-3 p.m. at the Plainfield Township Hall at 220 N. Washington in Hale.
Trinity United Methodist Church at 125 W. Main St. in Rose City will be hosting its seventh annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Judy Rabideau, from the Methodist church, said this year’s dinner was the church’s first year back after a four-year hiatus.
“The last four years, we didn’t do it,” she said. “I just took the bull by the horns and, with a lot of help, made it happen.”
Rabideau said contributions to fund the event came mostly from members of the congregation and not from the church itself.
“Right now, money is short for everyone,” she said. “This is a very big thing. So many people are hungry and they don’t have gas to heat their homes. You see these people come in and you can tell by looking at them that they haven’t had a meal like this in a long time.”
Rabideau said the church will be delivering meals to homes if people call 989-345-2260.
“We would like to know in advance, but we have had people calling all day on Thanksgiving,” she said. “The only requirement is, ‘Are you hungry?’ That’s it. If they want to make a donation, we don’t say, ‘No,’ but we are not asking for it.”
Harold Cuthbertson, of Hale Area Project Hope, said the organization sees excellent support for the community meal at the Plainfield Township Hall.
“We kind of make a point of not shaking down the local merchants,” he said. “They get asked for money by a lot of local groups. Our approach seems to make them want to help. Last year, I had one local shop ask me why I had not put in a produce order yet with them.”
Cuthbertson said his group’s meal has been a way to bring the community together through the last five years.
“We try and keep everything local — and try to spread it out, too, to all of the local markets,” he said. “We have a lot of volunteers and a lot of generous donors. This is a top-shelf meal, too. We don’t cheat. Everything is made from scratch.”