Volunteers were plentiful at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Organizer Joeta Youngblood said most volunteers signed up ahead of time, but some walked up the day of the event.
For the local non-profit Feed Our Family, their second annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner was successful enough to entice a big, happy gobble.
“We were very pleased,” said head organizer and founder Joeta Youngblood, who is also the vice principal at Hill City Elementary where the event is held on Thanksgiving Day. “Of course there were some bumps in the road and there is always a learning curve, but it went very well.”
In total Youngblood said Feed Our Family, which aims at feeding those in need, got a full Thanksgiving meal to 1,125 people, about half of which came into the school to dine and about half of which received home delivery.
“There is definitely a learning curve,” she said. “Next year we will have more people assigned to delivery and start earlier so we can have shorter routes. We thought we were going to have 400 deliveries, but we ended up with between 500 and 600. We need more coordination there.”
Many of the home deliveries were for the elderly, disabled, or for people without transportation, and next year Youngblood says there will be a focus on adding transportation for those who want to dine at the school. She said there is also the possibility for delivery to central locations around the county for more convenient pick-up.
Youngblood added that the non-profit will eventually expand its’ community offerings to include other events during the year.
“We would like to expand into other feeding events,” she said. “We love and support CARES [Food Pantry] and don’t wand to step on their toes, but we would like to do additional things beyond what they are doing.”
Despite the minor hiccups, at the end of the day everything went well and nearly all the food they ordered was served, Youngblood said.
“We used almost everything,” she said. ”What little we had left over we donated to the Timothy House so nothing went to waste. We know how much we had this year, so that will give me an idea about how much to order net year.”
Youngblood said companies around the community make donations to Feed Our Family, and that money is also raised from The Gobble N’ Go, a 5K held in November.