Teaching to give back

Jacob Smith • Nov 23, 2017 at 1:01 PM

Before the meal even started, volunteers with the Market Street Church of Christ had already received 75 to-go plate orders at the church’s 15th-annual Thanksgiving dinner.

The annual event offers a free meal to anyone within the Lebanon community who wants to either stop by and eat or order a to-go plate that can be picked up or delivered to them.

The volunteers started cooking Wednesday and prepared about 12 gallons of green beans, 9 gallons of corn, 6 bushels of sweet potatoes and even more onions, cornbread and, of course, turkey.

“It’s a labor of love, but it’s well worth it,” said main organizer Felecia Wharton. “The people in house can eat as much as they want, and when they’re ready to go, they can take a plate with them. It’s the best meal in town, for free.”

According to Wharton, the event started 15 years ago as a way to get the youth of the church involved in serving the community. Now, a lot of the youth who used to work come back each year to volunteer their time.

“It started out as a way for us to teach the youth how to serve and give back, but it’s really developed into a church project,” said Wharton. “Some of the youth that have graduated come back every year to help out. We’ve got one that’s out delivering right now, and he’s worked every year since the program started.

One of the volunteers traveled all the way from Gallatin to help out. From cooking the meal Wednesday to serving and delivering it to the community Thursday, Wharton said it’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it.

“It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun,” said Wharton. “We have people that come in that have been coming in and eating with us since day one. It’s a good thing. We get to mingle with them, and they get to mingle with us.”


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