Councils on Aging give away meals for Thanksgiving

Nov 21, 2020

Thanksgiving is going to look different this year, but that doesn’t mean the spirit of gratitude and giving is going away — quite the opposite.

Marion and Rochester gave Thanksgiving meals to those in need at different events on Nov. 20.

At the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center, members of the town’s Council on Aging and Recreation Department loaded up cars with potatoes, carrots, pies, pantry items and gave gift cards to Shaw’s to buy turkeys at a drive-through Thanksgiving basket giveaway.

This year, “we want people to stay safe,” COA Executive Director Karen Gregory said, and there is still a need to be met for older residents and families that are in need during the pandemic.

Usually, the Old Rochester Regional Junior High School puts on a Thanksgiving banquet, and every town gets 100 tickets to give to residents. 

“You don’t realize all the things you miss,” Gregory said.

That morning, Gregory, COA Program Coordinator Linda Jackvony, Executive Director of Marion Recreation Jody Dickerson and Will O’Neill loaded 60 baskets into the cars of what Gregory called “extremely appreciative” residents.

Money and food were donated by different townspeople after officials put out an open call for donations. Damien’s Food Pantry also contributed food items to the basket giveaway

Over at the Rochester Council on Aging, full turkey dinners donated by the Rochester Fire Department were given out to community members. 

The council received orders for 138 meals prepared by Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School students, including turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and a pie for dessert. 

Between OC students, the fire department and council volunteers, COA Board of Directors member Sue Norton said “it’s kind of nice how you have so many people working together.”

The drive-through grab ’n go event was put together by COA Administrative Assistant Carol Galante-Davis and Outreach Coordinator Lorraine Thompson.