“We need more turkey,” echoed across the serving table at Zion’s Lutheran Church in Trinidad on Thanksgiving morning, quickly followed by “more gravy over here,” plus a constant stream of other requests for replenishment, including corn, green beans, ham, potatoes and of course, stuffing. The dozens of volunteers assembling meals moved aside, opening the way while steaming trays full to the brim were switched out for those already scraped nearly clean.
It was all part of a well organized process to provide no cost traditional Thanksgiving Day meals to hundreds of people in the Trinidad area. Of the 900 meals prepared, 500 were personally delivered by volunteers to people’s homes. The remaining were cheerfully served to those who went to the church in person to enjoy their holiday repast. Anyone was welcome, from those looking to get out and share the day with others to people of limited means for whom the meal meant a welcome full belly.
“Wow, these volunteers are all from the community and our church, so we have kids 2 years, 3 years old helping all the way up to some of us in our 80s. I think it’s wonderful, I love the fact that the whole community gets together,” said Norine Hazen, the meal coordinator.
After the serving table, volunteers passed through various other stations, adding bread, dessert, cranberry sauce, salad and fresh fruit to each package for delivery. Then the meals were whisked to a counting area, sorted and loaded into waiting cars outside the door. A list was provided to each driver, some of whom delivered more than 40 meals each. Besides Trinidad, meals were delivered to the Highway 12 area outside of town, and “somebody is coming in to make deliveries out in Aguilar,” said Hazen.
Around 11:30 a.m., hungry people began filtering in and filling up long tables set up throughout the room. The noise level was high, laughter a constant and a satisfied appetite easy to come by. Many local businesses and individuals donated supplies and food, including 80 turkeys and 40 hams.
“I’m so happy to see everybody coming together, this is our 26th year,” Hazen said with a smile.