'It's a community event'

Nov. 5—NORWALK — It's not too early to be thinking about Thanksgiving.

Plans are already being made for this year's community Thanksgiving dinner at St. Paul Catholic Church.

After taking one year off for COVID-19 and a scaled-back event last year, it's full steam ahead in 2022.

"We're going to go back to delivery, pick-up and eat in," said organizer Patti Wilde.

The cafeteria will be open to eat in from 11 a.m. to noon and pick-up and delivery will go until 12:30 p.m.

"We only did delivery last year," Wilde said. "We are going back to the way it was."

With the return from COVID-19 restrictions the numbers were down last year.

"I think it was only 334," Wilde said. "Not as many as other years. Different times. And we have lost a lot of people in our community. Unfortunately, that's what happens."

Many of the people served over the years are older or who live by themselves. More than the food, many times it's just the visit people look forward to on the holiday.

The crew has been holding these dinners for "Over 25 years," Wilde said, adding the most dinners served in one year was more than 700.

And it is quite a crew.

"Oh my gosh, it would not happen without those people," she said. "The people who deliver. The people who donate. The people who work that day. A community event. It couldn't happen without everybody.

"Most of the delivery people we don't recruit. They just come. We look for turkey bakers. Grace (Whitehurst) is on a mission for pie bakers. She is something else.

"The hospital has been so good. They bake about 20 turkeys for us. That is such a blessing. Everybody working together. We have already started. We send letters out to the churches and other places. We have started taking names and we will until the day before Thanksgiving."

If you want to order dinner or sign-up to work, you can call Wilde at 419-668-2766 or 419-681-2617 or Robin at 419-681-2809.

"It just happens, I guess," Wilde said. "God takes care of us. Thank-you to everybody who makes this happen and we will do our best."