MILLEDGEVILLE — Volunteers of various ages made their way to Café Central to help prepare for the annual Tuesday Thanksgiving feast. The Thanksgiving meal was from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Freedom Church. Families were welcomed into the church dinning hall to enjoy a warm holiday meal made with care.
Café Central helps feeds the less fortunate on Tuesdays each week, but with Thanksgiving dinner being a large-scale event, more people attend. The soup kitchen's group of volunteers also grew larger to support the holiday meal. With the increase in attendance, more assistance and more volunteers were needed, and the community answered the call. Many were needed to gather supplies, cook turkeys, and prepare the dressing and side dishes for the dinner.
During the holiday feast, several volunteers occupied the kitchen and serving tables, moving and quickly to make sure every single person was served with care and generosity.
“We have a lot of volunteers and they do an excellent job every year,” said Café Central director Ann Bowen.
Cafe Central hosted its first Thanksgiving meal in 2010, feeding 300 people. This year the soup kitchen was able to provide a meal for more than 1,000 residents of Baldwin County.
"Everyone is always so grateful and courteous. It makes all the effort put into this worthwhile," said Bowen.
The Thanksgiving feast afforded many residents the opportunity to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and a vast array of delicious desserts that were donated to Freedom Church for the event.
Despite the success of the holiday feast, Bowen and her volunteers know that there is another meal to prepare for next week. Although that meal will not garner nearly as many attendees as the Thanksgiving dinner, the soup kitchen volunteers know that the 400-plus plates they serve to local residents each week make a difference.
To volunteer at Cafe Central or donate money, food or other supplies, call Bowen at (478) 457-7213.
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