Preparations have begun for the 18th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, which will serve free meals to about 450 people on Nov. 24.
The dinner, served at Union Firehouse on Milton Avenue, has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition for many people in the community. It is served from noon to 4 p.m., with takeouts and delivery available.
“It’s not just the needy; anybody can come,” said village Trustee Dick Duffy, who said families attend, as well as people who may be alone. “Or you’ll get people who don’t want to cook for one, two or three.”
But to make sure the turkey, stuffing and potatoes all make it to the table, volunteers are being sought. As many as 100 people are needed to help with meal preparation the night before, serving on Thanksgiving Day, and cleanup, said volunteer coordinator Flo Bouchard.
Donations of pies, cakes and cookies — desserts that will keep for a day — are also being sought, and can be dropped off at Union Firehouse on Wednesday, she said.
Bouchard said people who want to volunteer can just show up, and she’ll try to find a job for them. People are needed at 6 p.m. Wednesday to peel potatoes and carve the 26 to 30 turkeys, at 11 a.m. Thursday to finish setup and then serve meals, and from 4 to 5:30 p.m. to clean up.
Organizers also need drivers to deliver meals to people who can’t get out. Bouchard said organizers try to keep deliveries local, within Saratoga County.
The meal is served for free. The cooking is done by volunteers in the Union Fire Co. kitchen.
Duffy said the Ballston Spa Police Benevolent Association provides the turkeys, and the fire companies, churches and community service organizations all contribute to cover the other costs.
Bouchard said people who want to volunteer or make arrangements to have a meal delivered can call Union Firehouse at 885-7121.