JOHNSTOWN — Most people take Thanksgiving dinner for granted and end up overstuffed and sleepy.
But each year, the Twin Cities Council of Churches depends on the generosity of those who have to help those who have not by donating turkeys, other foods, money and delivery.
“Last year we served about 1,040 free meals” throughout the county, said Kaye Jones, co-chairwoman of the more than 30-year-old program.
“We have a desperate need for more drivers,” she said. She added that many low-income and sometimes disabled people can’t pick up the meals. Some can’t cook the meals.
“Right now we have only nine drivers,” she said. “We need in the neighborhood of 80 turkeys, but as far as I know, we have 35.” .
Churches and other organizations are chipping in. The youth group at Grace Lutheran Church in Johnstown is baking 20 pies, and both Johnstown Reformed Church and Concordia Club in Gloversville will be cooking turkeys. Deli Warehouse of Johnstown will be delivering $1,700 in non-turkey food this week for the meal at a significant discount, Jones said.
The Council of Churches (Gloversville and Johnstown) will offer Thanksgiving dinners, up to five meals per household, to those who would like to have either dinner delivered or do takeout.
Again, the Church of the Holy Spirit on South Main Street in Gloversville will be the host site for preparation, takeout and delivery of Thanksgiving dinners to people anywhere within Fulton County only. No meals will be served at the church.
Jones said the Council of Churches is grateful to volunteers whether it be a family, student groups, sport teams, civic organizations, husband-wife teams or single volunteers, who are all part of the program’s success.
Volunteers are needed to do the following:
∫ Donate or bake turkeys or pies.
∫ Assist on Wednesday and/or Thursday, Nov. 21 and 22, for cooking or for turkey and pie preparation.
∫ Offer time in the kitchen food line early Thanksgiving morning to prepare the dinners for delivery.
∫ Deliver meals to areas located in the county, with the distance limited to a 20-mile radius if the weather is icy or very snowy.
∫ Help in cleanup during and after completion of the dinners’ being delivered to guests.
Volunteers should call Jones at (518) 752-5792 or Marilyn Muzzi, the other event co-chairwoman, at (518) 762-9201, as soon as possible.
Any monetary contributions should be made payable to Twin Cities Council of Churches and mailed to Marilyn Samperi, 704 S. William St., Johnstown NY 12095
Any church or civic organization willing to prepare several turkeys or several pies should call Jones or Muzzi.
Dinner reservations for the free Thanksgiving dinner can be placed by calling Sharon at (518) 762-4477 until Nov. 19.
No reservations will be accepted after 6 p.m. on Nov. 19. Anyone can phone Sharon from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (no Sundays) and if the line is busy, leave a name, delivery address, number of meals and phone number.
Jones said everyone who receives a meal is very grateful and last year that included an elderly man with one leg who could barely get to the door to receive the meal.
“Anything we can do to put a smile on someone’s face is a blessing, a blessing all the way around,” she said.