Methodist church continues tradition of free holiday meals

Published 4:17 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Winchester First United Method Church continued its decades-old tradition of serving free Thanksgiving meals for all who needed one on Thursday.

The church elected not to host the meal in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year, it is going to be a little bit different in that it is all delivery and carry out,” Mike Jackson said in an interview on Tuesday.

Jackson serves as the church’s Thanksgiving committee head and estimated the church would serve close to 1,300 meals before the day was done.

The meals came complete with all the traditional trimmings, including a piece of pumpkin pie for dessert. More than 60 turkeys were cooked and at least 200 volunteers assisted with meal prep and delivery to homes near and far throughout the community.

Congregation members are not sure of the exact year it started serving meals but can pinpoint the decade.

“Some time we think in the 70s is when it started, and it has just been going on ever since,” said Jackson.

The event initially just served congregation members.

“The idea was that we had a lot of people in the church that didn’t have anyone to share Thanksgiving with,” Jackson said. “We had a bunch of singles that came down and shared the meal together.”

As the years went by, the church decided to include the entire community.

“It’s morphed into if you need a meal for whatever reason, if you don’t want to be by yourself or have food insecurity needs,” Jackson said.

The result of the meal’s expansion is that anyone in Clark County that needed a hot turkey dinner got one, no questions asked.