Up and down the Keys, people in search of a Thanksgiving meal will have several opportunities to celebrate this week.
Churches and other charitable organizations are opening their doors to make sure Thanksgiving isn’t just another day.
The First Baptist Church of Islamorada at mile marker 81.2 celebrates Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the church's regular Family Dinner Ministry, held weekly. About 150 families will be served, Pastor Jonathan Elwing said.
In the Middle Keys, volunteers at Keys Area Interdenominational Resources at the Community United Methodist Church, mile marker 48.5 bayside in Marathon, will pack Thanksgiving bundles for those in need and distribute them at Stanley Switlik Elementary School from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday (today).
“Almost all of these folks are known to us through the food pantry,” said Marjorie Roberts, executive director of KAIR.
She said almost 300 clients signed up beforehand.
“But if somebody reads the paper and says ‘I really need a turkey,’ they should still come in and see us on Monday. We do get donations,” Roberts said.
Call (305) 743-4582 or visit KAIR at mile marker 48.5 bayside.
Join St. Columba Episcopal Church at 451 52nd St. bayside (behind the Panda House restaurant) for a service at noon on Thanksgiving followed by a full turkey dinner.
At the Grace Jones Community Center in Marathon, parents were welcomed for a Thanksgiving lunch on Thursday. Also, 65 children will also be sent home this week with backpacks filled with nutritious food through the Backpack 4 Kids program.
Thanksgiving bundles will be distributed at Royal Furniture in Marathon, nearest mile marker 50 oceanside, Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. There are a little over 50 bundles left for those in need.
“There will be turkey, dressings, pumpkin pie and things of that nature,” said Chris Willis, president of MM50 Relief Project. Willis said the Royal Furniture staff coordinated with MM50 and donated the food.
“We are only able to accommodate 300 people,” he said. “So we did it on a ticket system and reached out to families in Marathon.”
To call and see if there are any bundles left, call Willis at (407) 808-8219.
“We don’t want anybody left out, but it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis,” he said.
On Thanksgiving Day, the Marathon Elks Club, mile marker 52 oceanside, in conjunction with Pensacola Beach Elks Club will serve a buffet-style turkey dinner for free from 1 to 5 p.m. The event is open to everyone and membership is not necessary. Stop into the Elks Club, 8239 Overseas Highway, to sign up for a seating time.
The American Legion, mile marker 49.5 oceanside in Marathon is also serving a free turkey dinner Thursday for Marathon residents and those from surrounding communities. Seventy-five turkeys will be cooked and there are seating times from 1 to 5:30 p.m.
Reservations are recommended by calling (305)-743-4783.