Niagara Gazette

Local News

November 24, 2013

Local efforts providing several options for a Thanksgiving feast for the needy

Local efforts providing several options 
for a Thanksgiving feast for the needy

Niagara Gazette — Thanksgiving will be abundant for everyone in the Niagara region this Thanksgiving Day, despite what volunteers say is a rising need.

There are several free dining options, including the ever-popular Lord’s Day Dinner and a “Feed the Falls” meal-delivery initiative by the Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission.

Last year over 900 Thanksgiving meals were delivered throughout the city by volunteers of the Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission. 

This year the mission hopes to home deliver about 1,000 meals in Niagara Falls, said Shaun Smith, director of the mission, and more families are being sought for the sign-up. 

The Thanksgiving meals the mission volunteers deliver come from The Chapel in Amherst where a chef prepares the turkeys. 

“They do all the cooking for us,” he noted. “What we do is we reheat on Thanksgiving Day.”

The distribution point for the meals is the Assemblies of God Church on Niagara Falls Boulevard, where volunteers gather at 9 a.m. to assemble meals and typically finish by 1 p.m. 

The missions efforts brings in dozens of volunteers to assemble and deliver the meals to any and all who wish to partake, Smith said. “People are blessed by this, both the people who give and people who receive,” he added.  Those who wish to order dinners can sign up  at www.niagara missions.org or call the mission at 253-1GOD.

“Thanksgiving is just the tip of the iceberg to what we do all year long,” he said of his mission house at 1023 Ferry. “We do Thanksgiving every day. We do Christmas everyday. All 365 days a year we care for the poor,” he said. “We do over 2,200 meals a month right now,” he added. “We offer three meals a day.”

Smith encourages more families in the city to call and request the free meals. 

“We’re a little behind in receiving calls,” Smith said on Thursday, when he only had 300 meal requests. “We’re kind of panicking. We’re having a lot of turkey being cooked so we are looking for families who want a meal delivered.”

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