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First Baptist, TLC Community Center providing meals this week

John Thompson • Updated Nov 20, 2018 at 8:41 PM

ELIZABETHTON — For most people who are not overcommitted to preparing the meal, Thanksgiving is a day of enjoying family and food and just relaxing. That is not the case for many members of First Baptist Church in Elizabethton and many nonmembers who also volunteer for the church’s annual Feast of Sharing.

Like a lot of other organizations during this holiday, they will prepare a big feast and invite the neediest among us to the celebration. But the church does not stop with just the needy. There are plenty of other people who are simply alone during this festive time. The Feast of Sharing is about more than food, it is also about meeting that hunger for companionship and friendship at a time when some people can feel especially alone.

Its a big task, but it is one Lisa Bunn has taken on before and is confident of making it even bigger and better this year. Bunn serves as chairwoman for the event.

“Last year we served over 1,400 meals,” Bunn said. “We have even more turkeys and things for a bigger feast this year.”

Bunn said the volunteers have already been at work organizing and getting ready for the big feast. She said kitchen work begins today at 5 p.m.

There won’t be much time after that. Bunn said they will be delivering meals all over Carter County. Even to distant Little Milligan and Roan Mountain. To get those meals to the diners in time, she said they must be completed, packed and onboard the delivery vehicles by 10 a.m..

Deliveries will be continuing for a few hours after that, but the workers must also be ready to open the church to anyone who wants to come inside for a free meal. The doors will be open from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In addition to serving the meal, the workers will also be providing the needy diners with warm coats and other winter gear, toiletries and other needed items.

First Baptist certainly leads the way in providing a Thanksgiving meal to the people of Carter County who need it most, but it can’t claim to be the first this year.

The TLC Community Center prepared its annual meal for the elderly on Tuesday. Center spokeswoman Bethany Ellis said the meals were delivered to nearby residences for the elderly, including Courtyard Apartments, Village East, Franklin Place and others.

One departure from the tradition, since it was not served on Thanksgiving, they served a spaghetti dinner, figuring many will be getting turkey on Thanksgiving.

The TLC Community Center is best known for its program of delivering meals to children throughout Carter County during the summer, when needy children do not enjoy the benefit of school lunches. But the organization makes this effort to provide a meal for elderly residents once a year. The center’s clients who came in for the “Mommy Mart” on Tuesday were also invited to enjoy the meal in the center’s dining room.

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