Saturday the New Frontier of Bartow County's Feed the Community Dinner will offer a free meal and on-site services to an estimated 3,000 people at the Cartersville Civic Center. To date, more than half of the $12,000 needed to fund the event has been raised. In its 10th year, the annual event is the largest outreach project of the black men's group, a nonprofit organization that also provides academic scholarships.
"The biggest need we have is securing the financial means in order to procure the food. It is being contracted out by Flavorful Events and we have to make sure that we have that in order. ... So it's very important," said New Frontier President Bryan Canty. "Everything from $1, $5, 10, 15, 20, whatever -- there are no small contributions. Every bit helps."
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Feed the Community Dinner will provide a free meal, consisting of turkey, ham, dressing with gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, green beans, rolls, peas and carrots, cranberry sauce, tea, lemonade and assorted desserts.
Some of the on-site services available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. include barber and beautician stations, dispersal of toys and school supplies, and a health fair that will feature diabetes analysis and blood pressure, hearing and cholesterol checks. Last year about 2,500and nearly 1,500 individuals utilized at least one of the on-site services.
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.
"We don't want to turn anyone away and especially during these financial times, it's imperative that those of us who are more fortunate extend our hand to those that may be a little down on their luck," Canty said. "One of the most gratifying things you'll ever see in your entire life is to see someone who's coming in here, and this may be the only hot meal that they get during this holiday season, and seeing them walk out there with a smile on their face, a full belly and hopefully a new overcoat on."
For more information about volunteer opportunities, call William Solomon at 404-625-3880. Details about making a financial donation can be obtained by contacting Michael Dean at 678-778-8783. In addition to bringing a donation to Saturday's event, monetary contributions also 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 majority of 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, cranberry sauce, rolls and a dessert will be delivered to an anticipated 2,000 people in Bartow and its surrounding counties. 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 offering started 17 years ago 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.
"It's not just delivering a meal," Freddy Craig said. "Just seeing somebody on Thanksgiving Day means a lot to some people that don't have anybody or [have] kids that are far off and can't come to see them. It's not just for the needy. Sometimes it's the heart that needs to be warmed on Thanksgiving Day instead of just the stomach. [This service] is for anybody. If you're hungry or just want to see somebody that day, just call and we'll send you a plate and a smile."
Through Thursday, 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. The meals will be delivered after 9:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Volunteers will be needed Nov. 23 to 25 to help with various tasks, from cooking to plating meals to cleaning up. Monetary donations also are being sought. About $1,200 already has been collected for the endeavor, which takes nearly $4,000 to operate. To place a contribution, contact 770-773-3953 or 770-547-2604.