Community dinners on Thanksgiving in Harford County have seen some organizational shuffling lately, but residents looking for a place to get a hot meal and a warm welcome on Nov. 27 will still have two places to go this year.
Large community dinners will again be served in Havre de Grace and Bel Air. A dinner at the Rogers Street firehouse in Aberdeen, organized in the past by a Havre de Grace church, however, will not happen, Aberdeen officials said.
The most high-profile community dinner is still at St. Patrick Hall, off of Pennington Avenue in downtown Havre de Grace, which grew out of the effort begun by the former SMILES student-service group at Havre de Grace High School that helped run the large event.
This will be the second year the dinner is being organized by a committee of the Community Projects of Havre de Grace Inc., treasurer Rich Holly said.
Organizers said this year's meal is moving forward with renewed and re-energized support from the community.
In Bel Air, Saint Margaret Parish will hold its third annual community dinner from noon to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at the church on Hickory Avenue. It will take place in the school hall.
That meal has been in partnership with New Hope Baptist Church on Alice Anne Street.
Organizers are also offering to carry-out meals this year and make sure "anyone who needs it leaves with some extra food," according to a release sent by Saint Margaret.
Those interested in getting on the pick-up schedule should contact Marie Dekowski at 410-879-2670, ext. 126, or email@example.com.
Dekowski, a church employee, said she expects even more visitors this year, coming up from Catholic Charities, FCCAU (Faith Communities and Civic Agencies United) and the county's Office on Aging.
She also said requests from people to volunteer are pouring in, especially from families.
"My phone is ringing off the hook," she said. "We could do five more dinners."
Dekowski is encouraging them all to come and socialize with the visitors.
"I noticed last year we had a lot of seniors whose families weren't with them and they were just alone," Dekowski explained.
Despite the potential for an influx of people, Dekowski said she is not sure exactly how many might come. The church is again preparing enough to feed 300, with a menu that includes turkey, cranberry sauce, green beans, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes.
"We are going to stay with that same type of menu and we pray we have enough of everything," she said. "We don't know what to expect, but we are ready."