By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many of us. It is a time to sit with family and friends and enjoy a big meal of turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, bread, pumpkin and pecan pie — a time to eat until you cannot hold another bite. It is a time to share in conversation, laughter and memories.
Loaves and Fishes, a local nonprofit, makes sure that no one needs to go without the opportunity to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Next Thursday, beginning at 11:30 a.m., members of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will once again host the annual Loaves and Fishes Thanksgiving feast. The meal will be complete with roasted turkey, homemade dressing and all the delicious side dishes that make the meal special.
“This is truly one of our favorite events of the year,” said Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “The mood is always festive as we prepare the meal and serve it to our guests. We are always mindful of those for whom a tasty traditional Thanksgiving meal would not be possible without the efforts of these volunteers.”
Loaves and Fishes is a nonprofit organization that serves a free hot meal every Thursday at the Catholic Parish Hall on Lewis Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A wide variety of organizations from around town volunteer to prepare and serve the meals. Loaves and Fishes provides the meat, bread and desert and the organizations provide the rest. There is a professional cook on staff to help with preparation and to give guidance on how to prepare a meal for hundreds of people and a coordinator to instruct the servers. The volunteers also stay to clean up after the meal.
Recently, Loaves and Fishes held its annual appreciation pizza dinner for their volunteers. St. Patrick’s parish hall was filled with representatives from 30 local organizations whose volunteers helped to serve over 7,000 free hot meals last year.
“Certainly, we have so much to be thankful for,” said Nancy Crouse, Loaves and Fishes board president. “Our community demonstrates their kindness and generosity every week, serving others and bringing joy to so many. None of this could happen without the support of our wonderful volunteers.”
For more information about how to become involved in Loaves and Fishes, go to its website: www.loavesandfishespagosa.org, or contact Crouse at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals as well as organizations are always needed and welcome to serve.