Eau Claire groups providing free Thanksgiving meals

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:34 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Saving Grace Lutheran Church, Hope Gospel Mission and The Community Table are all offering free Thanksgiving meals for any community members who are interested.

This will be the fifth year Saving Grace Lutheran Church hosted a community Thanksgiving meal. Last year, the church had around 500 guests. This year, they are expecting around 600 to 650.

“We know food costs are rising,” Allison Otto, Co-chair of Saving Grace Lutheran Church’s community Thanksgiving dinner said. “That’s why we’re planning for more, just because we do see an increase in interest.”

From 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. anyone is welcome to head to the church for a Thanksgiving meal, but other locations are offering meals too. Hope Gospel Mission will have free meals from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving. They have been providing these meals for over twenty years.

“We want to be a resource to the community,” Brett Geboy, Hope Gospel Mission Community Relations Director, said. “One way we can do that is offer these community meals, especially on the holidays.”

Geboy said part of the event, is the community connection during the holidays.

“I think those that are struggling with not having anyone to be with over the holidays or maybe cannot prepare a Thanksgiving meal all on their own, we’re hoping to just provide that, to provide some community and just a hot, warm meal for somebody,” Geboy said.

Ensuring everyone has a place to go on Thanksgiving is also something The Community Table is emphasizing. TJ Atkins, the Executive Director of The Community Table said the free meals on holidays are really nice for the public.

“I think it’s a great resource because everybody struggles depending on where they’re at from a student to a mom and dad that might be struggling at the moment, even our seniors that struggle with some food insecurity,” Atkins said.

The Community Table’s free Thanksgiving meal will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

All three locations have take-out and dine-in options for the meals. No reservations are needed at any of the locations.