By Nancy Crouse
Loaves and Fishes
Yes, Pagosa, there will still be a fantastic early Thanksgiving meal at Loaves and Fishes this year.
Although much is different and difficult this year, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will again be the sponsor of a full Thanksgiving dinner served at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street on Nov. 19. Unlike in previous times when the meal was served at tables beautifully decorated with white table cloths and fall foliage, this year’s meal will be available through the “new normal,” walk-up and curbside pickup.
The annual feast, offered free to the public one week before Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 19, will include roasted turkey, savory dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and pie.
Preparations have been underway since September and cooking will start on Tuesday, Nov. 17, when the turkeys go in the oven. Wednesday is the big prep day for parishioners, when they will chop onions and celery, make the dressing, slice turkey and prepare the green beans. On Thursday, let the feasting begin. Volunteers will complete the final preparations early in the morning and serving will begin at 11 a.m.
The Parish Hall will remain closed indefinitely, although the regular Loaves and Fishes weekly Thursday meal will continue into next year under these restricted conditions. Members of St. Patrick’s and all the other sponsoring organizations very much miss the interaction with the guests which was afforded by the sit-down service and was, by far, the most enjoyable aspect of their work.
Loaves and Fishes celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. It is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a free hot, nutritious meal to whomever comes seeking nourishment and encouragement. During 2020, 22 local civic and church groups have sponsored the meals and the board of directors extends its thanks to all of them.