Pandemic alters many holiday meal traditions for churches, other groups

By Patricia Kasten | The Compass | November 10, 2020

Some local groups are forging ahead with altered free Thanksgiving meals

ALLOUEZ — COVID-19 has made many changes, including how we will celebrate the holidays.

A young man carries a tray of desserts during a Community Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Mary Church in Menasha in 2019. Most sit-down meals have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brad Birkholz | Catholic News Service)

Each year, many local churches and groups have hosted Thanksgiving meals in their areas of northeastern Wisconsin. This year, due to health and safety concerns, many are not able to continue that tradition.

However, a few groups have been able to adjust their plans away from traditional dine-in meals and have gone with delivery or pick-up options.

Below are several groups who shared their plans with The Compass. All meals are on Thursday, Nov. 26, unless otherwise noted.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s meal will be by delivery only. Delivery is only within a 15-mile radius of the Grand Meridian on N. Oneida Street. Reservations are required by 4 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 24. Call Christ the Rock, (920) 730-8383, or visit their website to register at (Delivery will be between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) Volunteer drivers and meal preparers needed.

Northwood’s Apostolic Church will host their fifth annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Due to COVID-19, this will be a pick-up meal. Meals will be distributed at the American Legion Club at 251 N. Highway 141. No need to leave vehicles, since volunteers will bring meals to cars. For reservations, call (715) 938-4934 to order a meal and select a time slot for pick-up. All workers will wear gloves and masks.

The Twin Bridge Rescue Squad will host its 14th annual Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Due to COVID-19, anyone requesting a meal must call (715) 757-2682 to leave a message, or leave a comment on their Facebook event page with “Twin Bridge Rescue Squad, Inc.,” at Leave name, phone number and number of plates needed. They will call to confirm pick-up time or if you will need it delivered (in the local area only). Reserve by Nov. 11 at 10 p.m. All plates will be the same; no special orders.

(Note date.)
Hillside Assembly of God, 5890 State Highway 22, will host its 27th annual Community Thanksgiving Eve Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 25, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. This is both take-out and delivery, with some limited seating. Reservations required for dine-in and can be made at or by calling the church at (920) 855-2962. For local, limited delivery (Gillett, Suring, Cecil or Oconto Falls) or pick-up, call the church. 

Christian Outreach Ecumenical Thanksgiving Ministry will host its annual dinner but not at the Lambeau Field Atrium. Due to COVID-19, all meals will be delivered. To make reservations, call (920) 490-7030. Meals will be delivered between 9 a.m. and noon. Guests must be home to receive meals. Reservations will be taken until Nov. 19 or until all meals are reserved. Volunteers and donations needed.

New Community Shelter, 301 Mather St., will host a Thanksgiving meal. It will be door-side pick-up. Lunch will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and supper from 4 to 5 p.m.

Father Carr’s Place 2B, 1062 N. Koeller St., will host a drive-through style Thanksgiving meal. This will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Advance reservations required by Thursday, Nov. 19. Individuals can request multiple meals when making a reservation. For reservations, call (920) 231-2378. Father Carr’s will also coordinate one-time group meal deliveries to select local apartment complexes. Due to COVID-19, there will be no in-person dining or residential deliveries. Father Carr’s Place 2B needs donations of food, including frozen turkeys. Donations can be dropped off at the Mother Teresa Center at 1062 N. Koeller St. For more information, contact John Nieman, executive director, at
[email protected] or (920) 231-2378.

(Note date.)
Hillside Assembly of God, 2023 County Road Q, will host its 27th annual Community Thanksgiving Eve Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 25, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. This is both take-out and delivery. (No dine-in.) Reservations for local, limited delivery or pick-up, call one of these numbers not the church number: Barb, (920) 591-1707; Judy, (920) 897-4271; or June, (920) 344-7354.

United Methodist Church, 836 Michigan St., will host a carry-out, hot food only, event from 2 to 5 p.m. There are two time slots to sign up for. There will also be deliveries for the homebound only. To reserve dinner, call the church office at (920) 743-3241 by Nov. 23 and follow the prompts to leave your message.

St. Joseph Parish, 364 S. Cambridge St., will provide a free Thanksgiving dinner as curbside pick-up or local delivery only. No inside meals. Pick-up will be in the church parking lot between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Reservations must be made by Friday, Nov. 20, to Helen Cox (920) 787-5900. Please leave your name, phone and number of meals wanted. For deliveries, leave a full address. Deliveries will only be made to Wautoma and Wild Rose.

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