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Highland Lakes churches come together to feed hungry with Thanksgiving meal

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — After deboning dozens of cooked turkeys, sorting and packing hundreds of slices of bread and baking thousands of pounds of homemade dressing, yams and giblet gravy, work for dozens of area church volunteers has only begun.

St. Frederick Baptist Church Mission Outreach Ministries will work with Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Catholic and non-denominational churches in Burnet and Llano counties to provide more than a thousand meals for an early Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 16 for residents in need and volunteers who assisted with the weekly meal preparation and delivery program.

“All the different denominations — all the labels — are out the window,” said the Rev. George Perry of St. Frederick Baptist Church in Marble Falls. “If you talk to any one of the churches we work with, they all call this a community project because we work together as a body of Christ to get this done.”

Participating churches include St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Hope Lutheran Church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, all of Marble Falls, as well as St. Paul The Apostle Chapel in Horseshoe Bay and The Church at Horseshoe Bay.

Every Saturday, Mission Outreach Ministries typically delivers about 350 meals to the elderly, the disabled, the homebound and low-income residents.

This year, organizers will serve about 1,500 plates for the holiday meal.

Each meal includes a printed scripture. This year’s Thanksgiving scripture is John 8:11, which reads: “I am the light of the world, Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

“We enjoy everyone coming up to the church for love and fellowship with the community,” Mission Outreach Ministries coordinator Bessie Jackson said.

About 40-50 volunteers — nearly 20 of whom cook turkeys in their own homes — are participating in food preparation and deliveries that launch at 8 a.m. Nov. 16.

Volunteers will fellowship with clients as they deliver prepared Thanksgiving meals on their regular routes, while adding 250 more meals for clients of Joseph’s Food Pantry in Granite Shoals.

The remaining meals will be served to the community and volunteers at the church, 301 Ave. N.

“The community has come together and has helped us to provide food, hot meals for the hungry all year-round,” Jackson said. “This is our way of saying thank you.”

Organizers say current construction at the church has not delayed the program. Crews are working on a 1,300-square-foot addition on the church fellowship hall, kitchen and dining area. The work is expected to be done in January or February.

“Even with the expansion, we hung up sheets to protect the food, and we kept going,” Perry said. “Even the construction workers pitched in because they realized what was going on and kept things clean so nothing would be contaminated.”

Any leftover meals will be packaged, frozen and donated to elderly and homebound residents, he said.

“Those who have a heart, come in and give us a helping hand for prepping and delivery,” Perry said. “Those who want to donate, keep on, so we can continue this mission.”

Call (830) 693-4499 for more information, to donate or to volunteer.

connie@thepicayune.com