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Posted: November 11, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Volunteers, donations needed for Community Thanksgiving Dinner

The Newton County Minister’s Union is in need of monetary and food donations and volunteers for its annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

The free dinner is open to anyone and is particularly helpful to those who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal or will be without family for the holiday, said organizer Sharon White. This year the dinner will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thanksgiving Day at Sharp Learning Center.

"We just want to reach out to those who may not be fortunate to have Thanksgiving at their home, to reach out to the community and different churches and businesses and bring everyone together for food and fellowship," White said.

She said the Minister’s Union has enough turkeys for the meal, 50, but still needs donations to round the rest of the meal, including large cans of corn, string beans and cranberry sauce and rolls. Also, White said the event is still need of a corporate partner to donate hinged-lip plates and napkins. Food and supplies can be donated to the Community Food Pantry at 7125 Turner Lake Circle. If people are dropping off food or supplies on the day before Thanksgiving, they can bring the food directly to Sharp.

The Minister’s Union also needs monetary donations to help purchase other supplies, and those donations can be sent to the Newton County Minister’s Union, in care of Thanksgiving Dinner, at P.O. Box 1101, Covington, GA, 30015.

Lastly many volunteers are needed at Sharp to help prepare the meal. White said volunteers are needed on Nov. 25 from noon to 7 p.m., to prepare many of the side dishes, and on Thanksgiving Day starting at 6 a.m., to begin pulling the turkeys from the smokers and taking the meat off. White said a lot of volunteers are needed to help with the turkeys. Volunteers are also needed to serve attendees through the meal and to help clean up.

White said the meal will include turkey, corn, green beans, potato salad, cranberry sauce, rolls and assorted desserts. In addition to the meal, local choirs will provide musical entertainment.

Over the last couple of years, White said the dinner has fed between 800 and 1,100 people. In addition to feeding people who come to Sharp, the Minister’s Union is planning to have some pick-up locations around Covington, where people can gather and be transported to Sharp for the meal. So far, pick-up places are going to be the Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center and Washington Street Community Center. White said two churches have pledged vans for that day, but more vans and volunteers are needed.

In addition, volunteers are needed to take meals to those who cannot be transported.

Any leftover food will be given to the food pantry. For more information about the event call the food pantry at (770) 784-0037.

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