CLAYTON — Serve the Need will serve a free Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday, Nov. 27, in downtown Clayton.
Volunteers have been meeting since June to plan the sit-down meal. The menu will offer turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce and dessert. Individuals and other volunteers from shops, restaurants, churches and civic clubs will prepare the food.
Serve the Need, a nonprofit, served its first Thanksgiving dinner three years ago. That year, about 1,000 people showed up. In its second year, the meal drew about 1,400.
Last year, Serve the Need turned the meal over to a couple of churches, but attendance dropped to around 400 people.
Michael Grannis, who’s among the volunteers this year, hopes the numbers will be back up this year. The meal is designed to bring the community together.
“We want people to feel as though they can actually celebrate and give thanks and not be embarrassed because they’re in need,” Grannis said.
Among those helping with the meal are Clayton Steak House, Horne Memorial United Methodist Church, the Woman’s Club of Clayton, American Legion Post 518, Zaxby’s, St. Ann Catholic Church, Clayton Bakery and Cafe, Angie Grady and Kyle Lock. The Clayton High School Junior ROTC will help with parking, seating and clean-up.
“This is a community effort,” said Serve the Need Founder Norwood Williams. “We are planning to serve over 1,000 meals to men, women and children this year.”
The meal will be at the Civitan Club building, 340 McCullers St. That’s just off of Robertson Street, one block north of Main Street. Free tickets are available at St. Ann Catholic Church near Clayton and Clayton Area Ministries, Medlin Office Supply and the Lion & Lamb Bookstore, all in Clayton. Pick-up times vary, so check www.servetheneedinjc.com for details.
No ID or proof of need is required for tickets, but they should be picked up by Wednesday, Nov. 20. Tickets should be presented upon entrance. For more information, visit the website or call 919-553-4676.