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Holiday Hot Meals sets a new record

Photo submitted to Times Observer Over 40 folks came together in an all-volunteer kitchen and driving crew to deliver hot meals to those who may be struggling through the holidays.

Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church, along with its partner churches First Lutheran, First Presbyterian, First Methodist, and Trinity’s sister congregation St. Francis of Assisi in Youngsville, set a new bar for its Holiday Hot Meals Ministry on Thanksgiving Day.

A record 361 meals went out on Thanksgiving Day to shut-ins and others who would otherwise not have a holiday meal. That’s 40 more than the previous record.

Over 40 folks came together in an all-volunteer kitchen and driving crew, starting weeks before. Meal requests had to be organized into driving routes, supplies ordered, and volunteers recruited. Volunteers come from the partner churches and others who have gotten involved over the years. The day before Thanksgiving, volunteers met to organize the kitchen at First Lutheran Church. And then bright and early on Thanksgiving day the kitchen sprang to life, eventually supplying 25 driving routes with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and green beans, along with a slice of pie for dessert.

“Over 20 years ago Trinity members started cooking a hot meal and bringing it to a few senior citizens who would otherwise be alone on the holidays,” explained the Rev. Matthew Scott, vicar of Trinity.

“Now we deliver to every name submitted to us by Experience Inc., the Area Agency on Aging; any visiting families involved in Hospice of Warren County’s services; city fire and police officers on duty; and the 911 operators who are there for us today. Holidays can be some of the toughest times for folks if they are alone or away from home. Getting to remind them that they matter and that they are loved no matter what is our way of delivering the love of Jesus.”

Deliveries go throughout Warren and Forest Counties, and it is only possible because of generous donors. “Because of the generous support of so many through the Warren Gives campaign and our partner churches, Holiday Hot Meals can do all this and even consider expanding its work. We are looking for more ways we can share love through meals on the holidays,” offered Father Matthew.

Trinity’s Holiday Hot Meals run not only on Thanksgiving Day, but also Christmas Day and the Saturday before Easter (Holy Saturday). “If new volunteers are interested in joining us, our Christmas Day delivery always needs volunteers for driving the meals. Give us a call at Trinity (814-723-9360) to let us know you could help with driving or in the kitchen. We expect to deliver over 300 meals on December 25th, another record.