Local groups provide free Thanksgiving meals and fellowship

Nov. 17—Those without plans for Thanksgiving don't have to worry about getting a meal.

Providence Ministries, the Concerned Citizens of Dalton and Harvest Outreach will all host free Thanksgiving meals — turkey and dressing and sides — on Thursday for the community as each has done for many years.

Harvest Outreach offers a Thanksgiving meal from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Legion Post 112, 1118 N. Glenwood Ave. in Dalton. The meals will be carry out only.

Harvest Outreach Executive Director Shelia Reed said this will be the 37th year the organization has presented the meal.

"We focus on our homeless and our elderly, but everyone is welcome to come and get a meal," she said. "I'm really thankful to the American Legion for letting us use their building."

The organization served about 600 meals last year.

Providence Ministries offers its Thanksgiving meal from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its headquarters at 711 S. Hamilton St. in Dalton.

"People will have the option of picking up their dinners in the drive-thru," said Providence Ministries founder and President Roy Johnson. "Or they can come inside and eat."

Johnson said the meals will be boxed and ready in the drive-thru and people will just tell the volunteers manning the drive-thru how many they need.

Johnson said the ministry has been serving Thanksgiving meals for over 30 years.

"We served about 900 meals last year," he said. "We expect to serve about as many this year."

Johnson said even with the booming economy there are people who can't afford Thanksgiving dinner as well as people who don't have anyone to have dinner with.

"It's primarily families with small children and the elderly," he said. "But really, it's all sorts of people."

The Concerned Citizens of Dalton will be serving meals at the Mack Gaston Community Center, 218 N. Fredrick St. in Dalton, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

"You can eat here or carry it out," said Horace Moore, co-founder and current president of Concerned Citizens.

The group has been serving Thanksgiving meals for 25 years.

"We do this in memory of Lanny Cooper (the other co-founder of Concerned Citizens)," said Moore. "Lanny told us to keep this going, and that's what we are going to do. This is all dedicated to him."