Good people, good hearts

Published 9:51 am Friday, November 23, 2012

Volunteers assemble lunches to be delivered in the community.


Chop four bags of onions and four bunches of celery; cook five chickens and a big pot of broth, and there should be enough dressing – along with to feed 300 people.

Of course, there were eight turkeys, two cases of green beans, sweet potato soufflé, rolls and homemade desserts to go along with it when St. Mary’s Episcopal Church led a community effort to provide Thanksgiving meals to those who needed them or were alone.

Organizer Jan Morris said the tradition, begun by the late Jo Mosdell and now called “Jo’s Community Dinners” in her honor, has expanded to include more people coming to the church to the eat. Volunteers from across the community delivered approximately 150 meals, and many picked up take-out.

“Last year, we fed 300, and we are anticipating that this year,” the Rev. Cindy Howard said just a few minutes in to the 11 o’clock feeding hour. “We’ve had great help from our congregation and from others. A little while ago, Jan said, ‘We need more sodas,’ and someone we didn’t even know volunteered to go and get them.

“God provided a lot of good people with good hearts to help,” she said. “People have been cooking since Tuesday to get ready for this.”

Members of Christ the King Catholic Church provided the homemade desserts, she said. Tammy Portemont organized kitchen workers.

“It’s been great,” Howard said.

Community dinners at Thanksgiving and Christmas are just two of St. Mary’s outreach efforts. The church recently began a rice and beans ministry in which rice, beans and other pantry staples are provided to any who come on the third Saturday of each month.