Pair Of Churches Cooking Up Meals For All To Enjoy

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Just to make sure no one will miss out celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, two community dinners are scheduled for Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. One starts at noon at St. Philip's Catholic Church at 511 St. Philips St., and another at Payson United Methodist Church at 414 N. Easy St. begins at 11 a.m.

Bonnie Supan, a member of the Caring Ministry with St. Philip's Church, the group sponsoring the dinner there, said the meals at both churches are free.

"Anyone who has no place to go is welcome," she said. "A lot of people like to leave a donation. Some like to bring something, but we don't ask for anything."

She said St. Philip's has been serving its Thanksgiving meal for the past 10 years. Payson United Methodist Church has been putting on the community dinner since moving into its new facility four years ago. Members of both churches had talked about combining their efforts to put on one dinner, but decided neither had the room to do that.

Supan said the food is donated by members of the church community. At St. Philip's, members of the Caring Ministry will cook 90 pounds of turkey, three hams and "all the trimmin's."

"For the past three or four years, Swiss Village Bakery has donated an immense number of pies," Supan said. "Of course, our own members donate baked goods also, and if we have an abundance, we let people take some home or give it to the Food Bank. "We have enough to feed a lot of people. We don't want to turn down anybody."

Supan said St. Philip's has a sign-up list of about 100 people. Twenty people on the list are homebound and will get their meals delivered.

Bobby Phylow, church secretary at United Methodist, said the sign-up list for his church typically includes up to 250 people, with deliveries to 25 homebound individuals. The meal there is sponsored by the Outreach Ministry.

Both churches conducted early sign-ups in order to figure out how much to cook and serve. A sign-up sheet is still available for United Methodist Church at the child care window at the Department of Economic Security.

Phylow said United Methodist will be serving from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and suggests people call in advance to make sure there's enough food. "They can call 474-0485, just so we can get a head count," he said.

But people who are not on the list who simply show up at either church for a meal will be welcome, Supan said.

At St. Philip's Church, the dinner starts at noon and goes until the people and the food run out. "There's no restriction as to time," Supan said. "As long as there're people and there's food, we'll have at it.

"For those who do not have family or friends to share their day with, we want to open our doors and say, 'come share with us'."

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