Thanksgiving offerings expected to serve more than 8,000 meals
by Marie Nesmith
Nov 15, 2011 | 2391 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As Thanksgiving nears, members of New Frontier of Bartow County Inc., Christian Hearts United -- Reaching the Community's Hungry, and Feed My Sheep Ministries are reaching out to those in need of a hot meal. Combined, the three entities' large-scale operations are expecting to serve more than 8,000 plates, free of charge to diners. The New Frontier's event will start the volunteer efforts on Saturday, with CHURCH and Feed My Sheep Ministries following on Nov. 23 and Thanksgiving Day, respectively.

Feed the Community

Due to the passing of one of the organization's former presidents, New Frontier's event on Saturday has been renamed The New Frontier Feed the Community Dinner in Honor of Michael Dean.

"The original concept of having a Feed the Community Dinner came from Michael Dean," New Frontier President Bryan Canty said. "So we figured a way to [continue the] legacy of his brainchild was to rename it in his honor. ... He had a profound impact on our organization and gains made in recent years.

"He was a person that inspired us, who gave us hope and for a large majority of it, led the way. I don't even think it can really be measured what type of impact he had on the organization as a whole. He was just a dynamic person. He was a presence."

On Saturday, the New Frontier's event will extend a free meal and on-site services to an estimated 3,000 people at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St. The 11th annual event is the largest outreach project of the black men's group, a nonprofit that also provides academic scholarships.

Starting at 10 a.m., complimentary on-site services will be available, including 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., a meal will be served, consisting of turkey, ham, dressing with gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato soufflé, green beans, rolls, peas and carrots, tea, lemonade, water and dessert.

"It started out as a dinner to help those that were a little down on their luck or less fortunate than others ... now it's grown to include anyone that wants to come out and fellowship and just enjoy your neighbors and your friends throughout the community," Canty said, adding the public also is encouraged to bring winter coats and sweaters to the event for dispersal to those in need.

To date, about 75 percent of the about $12,000 required to fund the event has been raised. For more information about making a financial donation or volunteer opportunities, call Canty at 770-655-0927.

CHURCH

Spearheaded by Christian Hearts United -- Reaching the Community's Hungry, Bartow County churches will provide a pre-Thanksgiving meal and on-site services to those in need Nov. 23. A ministry of Freedom Worship Center in Cartersville, CHURCH also encompasses other organizations, such as Creekside Fellowship, First Assembly of God, New Covenant, International House of Prayer, 2nd Genesis Ministries, All About Jesus Ministries and the Bartow Baptist Association.

Expecting 3,000 people, the event has evolved from a small Thanksgiving dinner at Freedom Worship Center two years ago, which served 150 individuals.

"It's our way of giving back to this local community that's given so much to everyone around. ... That's our heart," Ronnie Richardson, pastor of Freedom Worship Center, told The Daily Tribune News earlier this month. "Our heart is to unite together -- Bartow County united, Bartow County churches united, to reach a united community. And that's really been laid upon our heart -- to reach out to each other and reach out to the local community."

To be held at the Cartersville Civic Center, the free offering will occur from 5 to 8 p.m. The meal will consist of turkey, chicken, gravy, dressing, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, rolls and a dessert. Among the on-site services will be the distribution of clean coats and blankets, and health and beauty care kits; blood pressure checks; haircuts; and counseling.

While attendees are not required to pre-register for the event, those needing free transportation must call 404-886-3224 by Friday. For more information about the event or to make a financial contribution, contact Richardson at 770-596-1046.

Feed My Sheep Ministries

Based on last year's effort, Feed My Sheep Ministries is preparing to deliver more than 2,000 meals to residents of Bartow, Gordon, Floyd and Cobb counties.

Prepared at Adairsville High School, the free offering consisting of turkey, dressing, corn, green beans and a dessert will be transported to area residents on Thanksgiving Day after 9:30 a.m. The 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 food to displaced storm victims at the former Adairsville High School, they felt led to continue their assistance, refocusing their efforts to provide Thanksgiving meals.

"I just want people to have a free meal if they need one," Freddy Craig said. "We want to help anyone. It doesn't matter their situations or their income or whatever. We just want for them to see somebody on Thanksgiving Day and have a free meal."

Through Sunday, 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 plates will be required 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 for the endeavor, which takes more than $3,000 to operate. Contributions can be sent to Feed My Sheep Ministries; 527 Fieldwood Drive; Adairsville, GA 30103.