ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Court Street United Methodist Church stresses the importance of donations as the holidays are approaching fast.
Weeks away from the feastful holiday, Court Street UMC is preparing for its 42nd Thanksgiving dinner, a free event where anyone can stop by and grab a warm meal to go. The church is expecting to feed around 1,100 people this year, and that is not an easy feat when grocery prices are on the rise.
“I do it because there is a need,” Sue Cram, Court Street UMC Thanksgiving dinner chairperson says. “My mother once told me that it was always good to volunteer, and if you can’t, go home. I’m here on Thanksgiving Day because people need a meal. And I get to take a meal home and eat when I put my feet up and collapse, so it works out well.”
According to CNN, food products like canned green beans and pumpkins, sweet potatoes and cranberries are priced significantly higher than last year. But not to worry, 10 to 15-pound turkeys have dropped nearly 13% in recent weeks.
With a spending limit, charitable places like Court Street UMC rely on donations to ensure every person leaves with a full stomach. Cram says the most popular food item amongst dinner guests is chocolate milk. But they need a lot more than that to feed over a thousand people.
“We like the individual applesauce containers, commercially made pies, people are good about that. We have somebody that always donates canned vegetables, that’s a blessing,” Cram says. “Also, we ask for water donations from the community.”
Cram encourages people to volunteer because donating time can be just as valuable as donating food.
“I can’t volunteer because you only do it on Thursday,” no, we have volunteers come in on Tuesday and Wednesday to do some of the prep work for our food and even help with some of the setup,” Cram says. “I always say, nope, we have opportunities.”
Court Street UMC’s Thanksgiving dinner will start at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and go until 1 p.m. A volunteer signup sheet for November 21 through 24 can be found here.
Copyright 2023 WIFR. All rights reserved.