Morningstar Mission serving up free turkey dinner Oct. 10

Adam Prudhomme

Morningstar Mission volunteers will be doing their part to ensure no one across Lennox and Addington misses out on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

On Oct. 10 they’ll be handing out or delivering a free turkey meal to anyone who wants one.

“Anyone can just call and ask for a meal,” said Morningstar Mission executive director Kevin Alkenbrack. “The problem is too often the people who are shut in, they don’t know about it. We made it pretty easy for people to register. They can just call our office (613-354-6355), they go on Facebook and link to the registration page or they can go to our website ( and register. Whatever they want to do. All they have to do is let us know their name, address and contact number. I can even go Tamworth, the New Legacy Centre is open.”

Volunteers will be making deliveries on Saturday afternoon. People can also drop by the Mission, located at 58 Water Street in Napanee, and take away a meal. Pick up will be held between 2 and 3 p.m. on Oct. 10.

In previous years the Mission has always held a community Thanksgiving meal in their basement. Due to COVID-19 they’ve had to operate a bit differently this year.

“We’re using the theme of Christmas this year,” said Alkenbrack. “At Christmas we always make a big point of making sure that everybody gets a Christmas meal. We always offer delivery on Christmas Day as well as a sit down meal. We thought given the isolating effects of COVID that we would make that anybody who wanted a Thanksgiving dinner (could get one), and it’s going to be a full Thanksgiving dinner. A couple vegetables, turkey and gravy and stuffing, mash potatoes and a dessert and a drink.”

Because the meals are so big, they’ll need several drivers and vehicles to transport them along the various routes. Between more people isolating and financial difficulties brought about by COVID-19, Alkenbrack expects about 250 meals will be handed out. In a typical year, they’ll see about 100 guests to their in-person Thanksgiving dinner.

“If you are somebody with health risks, there are so many people that are facing health challenges, they’re reluctant to go out,” said Alkenbrack. “Every time they do go out they’re taking a risk. This is just an opportunity for people to receive a Thanksgiving dinner from a volunteer that can give a kind word and then at least people know they’re being thought about over Thanksgiving even if they can’t go out. For many people too they’re not able to get together with family. We know how things are going with the virus and as the numbers increase, people are more reluctant to get together with family.”

Anyone looking to volunteer as a driver can contact the Mission at 613-354-6355.

Alkenbrack says although they are pushing to get the word out about their Thanksgiving dinner, the Mission has a hot meal program that runs all year round. Anyone who would like to be part of the program can contact the Mission.

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