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Organizations unite to make sure nobody goes hungry on Thanksgiving

Dinners, food drives to fill empty cupboards, refrigerators, lonely hearts

Posted 11/16/23

CLAY COUNTY – Four churches will unite for a common good on Thanksgiving Day to ensure nobody is alone and everyone is fed.

The Springs Church, First Baptist Church of Orange Park, Celebration …

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Organizations unite to make sure nobody goes hungry on Thanksgiving

Dinners, food drives to fill empty cupboards, refrigerators, lonely hearts


Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Four churches will unite for a common good on Thanksgiving Day to ensure nobody is alone and everyone is fed.

The Springs Church, First Baptist Church of Orange Park, Celebration Church and St. James AME Zion Church will work together for the annual Community Thanksgiving Meal.

The Thanksgiving Day tradition has been at First Baptist Church of Orange Park for the past 20 years, but it will move to The Springs Church at 900 Park Ave. in Orange Park on Thanksgiving Day. Anyone unable to prepare a meal for their families or alone is welcome, according to Outreach Director Ilya Mikhalevich.

“Orange Park did it for years, but their director is looking to retire,” Mikhalevich said. “In the past, they’ve done about 800 meals, if not more. We’re new to this. We wanted to take it on.”

Meals will be served from noon to 2 p.m. at the church. Anyone who needs a meal delivered should call Kathy at (904) 525-0762, Ruth at (904) 214-5120, Sandra at (904) 537-4227 or Shirley at (904) 537-5422 before Thanksgiving to arrange a delivery or pick up.

Smoked turkey, dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cornbread and rolls will be on the menu. Beverages will include hot cider, coffee and tea. Holiday pies are for dessert. Mikhalevich said the majority of meals were delivered in the past.

“With the way the economy is going and the way churches are going, there is a lot more interest this year,” Mikhalevich said. “Everyone is stepping up.”

There are other organizations that plan to embrace the community during a time of thanks, especially on Saturday, Nov. 18, including:

• Mercy Support Services Fall Outreach Community Blessings will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 515 College Dr. in Middleburg. Thanksgiving meal bags will be distributed, and visitors can enjoy a photo booth, Seeds of Love Spin Wheel, games, face-painting, giveaways, BBQ and community resident presentations.

• One of the biggest events is Feeding the 5,000 at the First Baptist Church of Middleburg at 2645 Blanding Blvd. Boxes will be packed with enough food to feed a family of five, and they can be picked up from the Packing Pipeline drive-through event at noon to the first 1,000 families. There is a limit of one box for each family. For more information, call (904) 282-5289.

• The Clothes Closet and Food Pantry Thanksgiving Outreach will wrap up on Saturday. Residents from Orange Park and Fleming Island can sign up for a complete Thanksgiving food basket, and children 14 and younger can pick out a toy from 9 a.m. to noon at 1010 Fromhart St. in Orange Park. For more information, call (904) 264-5239.

The generosity will continue on Sunday, Nov. 19, with:

• EXIT Inspired Real Estate will host its Thanksgiving Food Drive and Fall Festival from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 2739 Blanding Blvd. in Middleburg. The event will include food vendors, games, photo booths, prizes and more.

• Calvary Church will host its Thanksgiving in the Park on Nov. 19 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Ronnie Van Zant Park, 2760 Sandridge Road in Green Cove Springs. All are invited to a free meal, but everyone is asked to bring a dessert.

• Mission of the Dirt Road Rag Tag Thanksgiving will be at 11 a.m. at 7790 State Road 100 in Keystone Heights. Everyone can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and anyone is welcome, but not required, to bring a side dish.

• The Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving celebration will include lunch after Sunday services at 2795 County Road 220 in Middleburg. For more information, call (904) 276-6677.

• On Wednesday, Nov. 22, residents are invited to the Salvation Army’s food distribution event from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 2795 County Road 220 in Middleburg.

• And on Thanksgiving Day, Mackey’s Munchies Thanksgiving Meal Giveaway will be from noon to 3 p.m. at 868 Blanding Blvd. in Orange Park.

will be on Nov. 22 from 9-11 a.m. at 2795 County Road 220 in Middleburg. For more information, call (904) 276-6677.