Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Free Mendocino Coast Community Thanksgiving Dinner Now Taking Signups for Meals and Volunteers

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The following is a press release issued by the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Bragg:


Scott Shepley (left) and other volunteers package meals for delivery and pickup last year [Photograph provided by Monica Steinisch]

For the 26th year, the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Bragg will be serving up Thanksgiving dinner to coastal residents from Westport to Albion. After setting a new record last year with 1,000 meals provided, event organizers are gearing up to provide as many dinners again this year—all at no cost to recipients.

This year also will see a return to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, dinner roll, juice, and pumpkin pie. Recipients have the option of having their meals delivered directly to their home, beginning at 10 a.m., or picking up their meals, curbside, at the church (367 S. Sanderson Way, in Fort Bragg) between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24.

Reservations are required for all meals—both delivery and curbside pickup. Those who wish to request a meal can order online, at http://www.fbpchurch.org, or can call Eve at 707-478-7212 or the church office at 707-964-2316. A “Meal Reservation Form,” linked to from the webpage, can be printed out and mailed to or dropped off at the church (in the mail slot to the left of the front door). All reservations must be received by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23.

The event is entirely volunteer-driven, and volunteers are needed for a variety of duties, from food prep and packaging to cleanup and traffic control, between Monday, Nov. 21, and Thanksgiving afternoon. Volunteer delivery drivers, working in teams of two, also are needed to deliver meals to homes along the coast on Thanksgiving Day. Those interested in volunteering should visit the Community Thanksgiving Meal webpage (www.fbpchurch.org) and scroll down for sign-up instructions and links to the available shifts and duties. 

Event organizers are again relying largely on community donations through participating businesses to ensure that every meal includes a traditional Thanksgiving dessert. The dessert drive—Dessert Dollars—is another way for the community to contribute to the goal of providing a free, nutritious Thanksgiving meal to approximately 1,000 coastal friends and neighbors. Shoppers can add a dessert donation in any amount during check-out on their next trip to Safeway, Harvest Market, or Mendosa’s, or order through A Sweet Affair Patisserie’s online store (www.asweetaffairpatisserie.com/online-store), and these businesses will prepare the baked goods for our volunteers to pick up during Thanksgiving week. Additionally, this year, students in the Fort Bragg High School Culinary Arts program will contribute 25 pies. Some of the students also will be participating as volunteers, cutting and packaging the pies for delivery and pickup.

Monetary donations are, of course, welcome—they help with the various costs of providing the many meals to our coastal community. You can donate online (click on the “Give Now” button near the bottom of the event page, at http://www.fbpchurch.org, and choose “Holiday Hunger”); mail your donation to the church; or drop your donation in the mail slot to the left of the church front door.

“The annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner is a true community endeavor—possible only through the generosity of local businesses and individual donors, and the tireless commitment of dozens of volunteers,” said Printha Worthen, the event chairperson. “While the holidays engender different emotions for different people, the feeling of gratitude is experienced by everyone who participates. Those who donate or volunteer are grateful for the opportunity to connect and share with their neighbors, and those who receive a meal are grateful for the food and the love with which it is prepared and presented.”

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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