For the last 10 years, the First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton has hosted a free community Thanksgiving dinner. The annual event has grown significantly, providing meals for delivery to the homebound recipients of Meals on Wheels, and “to anyone who would like to come enjoy a meal; to those who sometimes come just so they are not alone,” said Kristy LaMonda, an organizer for the event.
“It is not a soup kitchen and is not based on income,” she added. “We try to provide a welcoming atmosphere to everyone. We want this to continue but we need more community support. We need to get people to come and help, we need donations of food and more volunteers to help prepare and serve.”
A meeting is scheduled for Sunday, October 21, at noon at the church’s Session House, located at 120 Main Street. “We are going to form committees for purchasing, cooking, decorating, and volunteer coordinating. Specifically, we are looking for people to coordinate food donations, someone who is bilingual to answer phone calls and take reservations, a person to coordinate the kitchen, and turkey carvers. There are also many community service opportunities for students,” LaMonda mentioned.
Originally started by the Community Council of East Hampton in the 1980s, the deacons of the First Presbyterian Church eventually took over the organization of the event. “Over time, it has become a much bigger event. The church has been providing the food and preparing it. But it’s grown so much that we need to expand into the community for help,” said LaMonda.
“With the Meals on Wheels kitchen being closed on Thanksgiving, the community dinner fills a need that is present in the community on the holiday. Last year, more than 140 dinners were served,” she said. “This year we are planning for about 150.”
For further information, contact LaMonda at 631-374-8375 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.