Wanted: Thanksgiving dinner guests

November 21, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

When Shepherd's Staff decided to stage its first Thanksgiving dinner for needy Carroll County residents, it was inundated with volunteers who wanted to help.

Now, all it needs is 500 people who want to eat.

"We need guests -- people to partake," said Virginia Stoner, coordinator of the Thanksgiving meal effort.

Shepherd's Staff is an ecumenical Christian outreach organization. It is a cooperative ministry of churches in the Westminster area.

"I've already ordered 30 turkeys," Mrs. Stoner said. "I have fears there are not going to be enough people to eat the food."

Mrs. Stoner is the Shepherd's Staff liaison from Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren. She has a background in food services and is coordinator of the Westminster Co-op food cooperative.

She said Shepherd's Staff has issued an invitation to the feast through agencies such as Human Services Programs Inc., the Carroll County Department of Social Services and Neighbors in Need.

Local businesses, clubs, churches and individuals have been generous in their donations of food, money and time to make the meal a success, she said.

When the call for volunteers went out, she said, 190 people came forward to fill 88 slots.

"Whole families are coming in," she said, and the volunteers range in age from 8 years to seniors from Carroll Lutheran Village.

All the food was either donated or paid for with donated money, she said.

"The community has responded fantastically," she said.

"People still are calling. They want to do something."

She also said she wanted to express appreciation on behalf of Shepherd's Staff for the community's response.

Preparations began in September for the meal, which will feature a traditional menu of turkey, dressing, vegetables, salads and drinks. Eighty pumpkin and fruit pies will be served. Bags of fruit will also be distributed.

The Thanksgiving Day Harvest Meal will be served from noon to 3 p.m. in the cafeteria of St. John's Catholic Elementary School, 45 Monroe St., Westminster.

Information: 857-5944

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