POINT PLEASANT — Thanksgiving arrived a little early Tuesday when hundreds of people were fed at the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, prepared by the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church.
“It’s been this loud and this joyful the whole time,” John Holland, pastor at the church said, while serving food to those from every walk of life.
Holland said some people arrived an hour before the dinner started with a steady stream of humanity the entire evening.
“This is why we do this,” Holland said as he looked out at the full tables in the fellowship hall. “We’re all brothers and sisters … it’s like a family gathering. People show up, they show love for it and get loved.”
Last year, the church fed around 350 people with this year’s total expected to be on track to meeting or beating that number. There were also 89 home-delivered meals prepared and delivered to those who are disabled.
Church members prepared 14 turkeys that were each 20-plus pounds and 100 pounds of potatoes. This year, the church had local potatoes and sweet potatoes donated to the dinner from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the West Virginia Conservation Agency. The agencies piloted the state’s Potato Demonstration Product in the western region of the state this year, feeding local people with locally grown food in Mason County.
In addition, bags of food were given out to each child who attended the dinner as long as supplies lasted. The bags of food contained things like soups, noodles, macaroni and cheese, crackers, etc. The bags were given out to ensure children wouldn’t miss any meals this week with there being no school. Like the dinner, the congregation provided the food bags.
The tradition of the Presbyterian Church’s Thanksgiving Dinner is at least 20 years old and for many in the church, as well as for those attending, they grew up with the expectation that it will be part of their holiday — like any good tradition.
“This is a good tradition,” Holland said. “This is a great and wonderful thing. When we prayed before the meal, you could feel the spirit and God’s love in the room.”
Once again, church members and volunteers were assisted by Boy Scout Troop 259 in serving the dinner.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.