Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Needy Need Not Miss out on a Meal; Thanksgiving Invitations Are Being Extended to All

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Needy Need Not Miss out on a Meal; Thanksgiving Invitations Are Being Extended to All

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY STRICKLAND

Churches, schools and agencies are ensuring families around the Westside won't have an Old Mother Hubbard experience this Thanksgiving.

Unlike the nursery rhyme character, they don't want their cupboards to be bare.

Here's a partial list of what some are doing:

-- Murray Hill Baptist Church, 4300 Post St., is providing turkey, dressing and trimmings for the community, particularly those who are away from family or would not otherwise have such a meal.

The free feast will be served at 11 and 11:30 a.m. and noon Thursday. Call the church at 388-8531 for reservations so organizers will know how much food to prepare and how much seating to provide.

-- St. Matthew's Catholic School on Blanding Boulevard used to have a Thanksgiving feast for the student body. Now the students provide the classic holiday meal items for the needy in the community.

"We changed our tradition from a feast for ourselves to a feast for others," said Principal Kathy Tuerk. "When you change traditions, you might expect some negative reaction, but we didn't have any at all."

Students have been bringing in canned goods and other nonperishables since the beginning of November, with each class assigned a different item. To provide extra incentive, students who brought in $2 and two items got a no-uniform day.

They filled 20 laundry baskets (so recipients can use them afterward) with the fixings, as well as a gift certificate and a Thanksgiving prayer. Some added items such as dish towels, small tablecloths and salt and pepper shakers.

The items were presented to the parish's St. Vincent de Paul Society for distribution to those in need. Enough was left over to fill the society's food pantry. The society provides not only food but utility and rent money for needy families, Tuerck said. …

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