Volunteers at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Cortez are preparing for the annual Thanksgiving community meal – and they could use some help.
Victoria Atkins, lead cook for the Thanksgiving meal, said the event has typically drawn more than 200 people and relies on the help of 40 volunteers. She said the church needs volunteers and food donations, with the exception of turkeys, of which they have plenty.
“Giant cans of green beans are always good,” Atkins said.
It’s the time of year when people tend to be generous in their donations, Atkins said, and food and financial contributions before Thanksgiving helps the church get through the winter. In addition to providing a free meal at the church for anyone who wants to stop by, volunteers deliver dozens of meals to people in their homes.
Atkins said some of the attendees are working families who need to stretch their food budget, some are homeless, others are elderly, and some just come for the company. She said the home delivery in particular is a way to share some social contact and let people know that someone cares.
“There’s lots to be thankful for, and community is where it all starts as far as I’m concerned,” Atkins said. “We need to reach out. A lot of us can isolate ourselves for various reasons.”
Diane Arrigucci, senior warden at the church, said St. Barnabas is a small congregation that does big things for the community. In addition to Thanksgiving, the congregation provides a community meal every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
“Our mission is to recognize and serve Christ in all persons,” Arrigucci said. “So we’re reaching out to the entire community.”
The Thanksgiving meal will include the classics: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, green beans, rolls, pickles, olives and pies. The feast is free, and everyone is welcome.
“It’s Thanksgiving,” Atkins said. “Nobody should go hungry.”
To donate or volunteer, contact Annie Seder at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 565-7865.