In an effort to make sure no one will go without a holiday meal or be alone on Thanksgiving, area organizations have come together to offer community members an opportunity to share a meal together or take a holiday meal home.
The Salvation Army and the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank are coordinating their efforts to better serve the community. Since neither organization can financially afford to host both a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, they will share duties.
The Salvation Army will host the Thanksgiving dinner and the food bank will handle food boxes. For Christmas, the food bank will host dinner and The Salvation Army will put together food boxes.
The Salvation Army's community Thanksgiving dinner will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Community Center Building at the corner of Second Avenue and Forest Drive in Kenai.
"It is our hope and prayer that no one will spend this Thanksgiving Day alone. The dinner is a celebration for the whole community not just for those who are in need," said Jeannie Fanning, envoy for The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is still in need of food donations to help make the meal as festive and filling as possible. Donations of sweet potatoes, onions, rolls, butter, green olives, cherry tomatoes, green peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers, cauliflower, cream cheese, sour cream and Cool Whip are needed.
For families that would prefer to celebrate at home, the food bank is organizing Thanksgiving food boxes. An application form must first be filled out.
The deadline for the forms is 4 p.m. Thursday. Food boxes will be distributed Monday through Nov. 26.
Food donations that are needed include dinner rolls, butter, fresh vegetables, pies, canned food, fruit filling and any nonperishable goods.
"Any food items that you would eat at Thanksgiving is what the food bank strives to put into the food boxes," said volunteer Linda Kendall.
One community gathering that won't take place this year is the Tustumena Lodge's annual Thanks-giving dinner, hosted by owner Susie Cook.
"This year we decided to close for Thanksgiving. It is to give our employees an opportunity to spend it with their families and friends," she said.
Community members who would like to make donations to The Salvation Army can call Jeannie Fanning at 283-4035 or 283-3879.
To make a donation to the food bank, call Linda Swarner at 262-4216.
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