November 22, 2017
ELMIRA, NY (WENY) -- Shabach Tabernacle Church in Elmira is ensuring everyone in the community has a place to go, and warm food to eat, for Thursday's Thanksgiving celebration.
The turkeys are in the oven, potatoes are mashed and desserts ready. Wednesday evening, members of the church are busy preparing for the 11th annual free Thanksgiving feast.
"Our mission is to feed the community, and also to get people to understand that giving and just being available to the community is something that's very very important and we look to do that each and every time that we come out. Everybody knows our ministry - we're an outreach ministry and we want to reach out to the community," says Minister Kevin Watson.
From candied yams, to classic mashed potatoes, more mashed potatoes, stuffing and of course the turkeys - the feast includes all traditional Thanksgiving meal items.
For the people who make the community feast possible, the hard work all pays off when they get to see others enjoying the holiday.
"Everybody say MMMM! That's the most beneficial part of this, yes it is!" says Bessie Hughes, who serves as a Parishioner for the Church.
"Just to have people come out and enjoy themselves and talk with others," says Vera Wood, Supervisor for the Church's Soup Kitchen.
And if you can't make it to the church, they still want to make sure you have a warm meal to eat.
"Our number is 607-734-2504 -- you can call and get a meal sent out to your house if you're handicapped or anything like that, which is a wonderful thing. We want to do the work of the ministry, Amen," Watson says.
The dinner also wouldn't be possible without the generous donations from local businesses, and volunteers.
"It's just so special to me because I love to see the people eat and just laugh and talking. And we have a lot of volunteers that come and help us do this - feed those people and volunteer to deliver and it's just a joy to me," says Sister Deborah Clayborn, who serves as a Missionary at the Church.
For information about volunteering, or to arrange a dinner deliver, you can message Shabach Tabernacle Church on Facebook , or call 607-734-2504.