On Nov. 19, the New Frontier of Bartow County's Feed the Community Dinner will extend a free meal and on-site services to an estimated 3,000 people at the Cartersville Civic Center. To date, about half of the $12,000 needed to fund the event has been raised. The 11th annual event is the largest outreach project of the black men's group, a nonprofit that also provides academic scholarships.
"We're just trying to ensure that, at least on that one particular day, there's no one in the Bartow County community that has to go home hungry or who has to go hungry that day," said New Frontier President Bryan Canty, adding while the event's main objective will be to provide a meal to financially struggling Bartow residents, the event will be open to everyone in the community. "It initially started out along the lines of what Hosea Williams inaugurated in the Atlanta area but now we've just [extended] it to include anyone that comes out to get a good, hot meal and to fellowship with their neighbors. ... [It is important to] help someone who lives in your community that may have fallen on hard times or just needs a break. No one plans to be in a scenario that many of these folks are in. So just being able to reach out to them is its own reward."
Starting at 10 a.m., on-site services will be available at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St. Some of the complimentary offerings will include barber and beautician stations, dispersal of school supplies and a health fair that will feature diabetes analysis and blood pressure, hearing and cholesterol checks. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Feed the Community Dinner will serve a meal, consisting of turkey, ham, dressing with gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato soufflé, green beans, rolls, peas and carrots, tea, lemonade, water and assorted desserts.
For more information about making a financial donation or volunteer opportunities, call Canty at 770-655-0927. Monetary contributions can be mailed to New Frontier of Bartow County Inc.; Attention: Feed the Community Dinner Committee; P.O. Box 1891; Cartersville, GA 30120.
While the New Frontier's guests will dine at the Cartersville Civic Center, Feed My Sheep Ministries' meals will be solely delivery. Prepared at Adairsville High School, the free meals consisting of turkey, dressing, corn, green beans and a dessert will be delivered to area residents on Thanksgiving Day after 9:30 a.m. As with New Frontier, Feed My Sheep Ministries' meal recipients will not be limited to a particular income level, race, gender or age.
Formed by Freddy and Betty Craig, Feed My Sheep Ministries' Thanksgiving outreach started following the blizzard of 1993. As the Adairsville couple served meals to displaced storm victims at the former Adairsville High School, they felt led to continue their assistance, refocusing their efforts to provide Thanksgiving meals.
"At the time we started it, nobody else was doing anything, which [was] like 19 years ago," Freddy Craig said. "So we just [felt] led to do it.
"We kind of feel like a lot of people, especially the elderly, are overlooked or forgotten about on Thanksgiving Day. Some of them don't have any family and ... no matter what their financial status is we feel that they might like to see a smiling face on Thanksgiving Day."
Through Nov. 19, individuals can sign up for a delivered Thanksgiving meal by calling 770-773-3953, 770-773-9085 or 770-547-2604 and leaving one's name, address, phone number and how many meals will be needed at each household.
Volunteers will be needed Nov. 22 to 24 to help with various tasks, including cooking, plating meals, cleaning up and making deliveries. Monetary donations also are being sought. As of Tuesday, only about $200 had been collected for the endeavor, which takes nearly $3,000 to operate. Contributions can be sent to Feed My Sheep Ministries; 527 Fieldwood Drive; Adairsville, GA 30103.