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Hunger fighters: Snoqualmie Valley Rotary Club hosts first free Thanksgiving dinner

Mount Si Food Bank volunteers Nancy Anderson, left, and Elizabeth Brown take a look at some of the 356 turkeys donated to the food bank for the Thanksgiving distribution. The food bank is providing turkeys, pies, and all of the essentials for its clients to prepare their own Thanksgiving dinners. Families can also enjoy an already-prepared turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day at the Mount Si Senior Center, where Snoqualmie Valley Rotary Club members are hosting the first community dinner in the Valley, at no charge. - Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
Mount Si Food Bank volunteers Nancy Anderson, left, and Elizabeth Brown take a look at some of the 356 turkeys donated to the food bank for the Thanksgiving distribution. The food bank is providing turkeys, pies, and all of the essentials for its clients to prepare their own Thanksgiving dinners. Families can also enjoy an already-prepared turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day at the Mount Si Senior Center, where Snoqualmie Valley Rotary Club members are hosting the first community dinner in the Valley, at no charge.
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

As most families sit down to their traditional Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday, a small group of volunteers will be on their feet, cooking and serving the first community Thanksgiving dinner in the Valley.

The dinner, with noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m. seatings at the Mount Si Senior Center, 411 Main Avenue South, North Bend, is free and all are welcome to attend.

It’s the first such community dinner in the Valley, and it’s the brainchild of Snoqualmie Valley Rotary Club service project chairperson Rick Woodruff.

“He said ‘there doesn’t seem to be a Thanksgiving Day dinner in the Valley,’” said Club President Jolene Kelly.

Several groups, including the Mount Si Helping Hand Food Bank, offer needy families all of the ingredients for the traditional holiday meal.

But Woodruff pointed out that there was no place that people could simply go for dinner. Rotary members realized that this was a need not being met for local families, and decided last month to host the Thanksgiving dinner.

Woodruff “reminded us that service above self is a key component of our mission, and we decided to organize a Thanksgiving Day dinner that will serve as an impactful event to those most challenged with the difficult economic times,” Kelly said.

The food bank and senior center have both posted sign-up sheets for anyone who plans to attend the dinner, but signing up in advance is not required.

Judy Boyce volunteered to coordinate kitchen work, and “tons” of volunteers have committed to help, Kelly said. More are always needed. Volunteer shifts run from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., 1:15 to 2:45 p.m., and 2:45 to 4 p.m. Additional volunteers for cleanup are also needed from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

To volunteer, or for more information, contact Kelly at jolene.kelly@comcast.net, or call (425) 941-8795.

 

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