Many Grateful For Free Thanksgiving Meal In Petoskey

A Northern Michigan community celebrated Thanksgiving early this year with a free warm meal.

Today, three churches in Petoskey came together to host their first annual community Thanksgiving dinner.

Cross of Christ Lutheran, Emmanuel Episcopal, and First Presbyterian churches are teaming up to provide a free meal.

Their goal was to help people who may not have had a hot meal planned for the holidays.

“Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years — these are all family oriented times and if I’m not invited somewhere or to be around somebody I’m going to be alone and it hurts,” said Richard H. Edwards from Petoskey.

Edwards says today’s community feast really changed his mood around for the better.

“I feel good that people care enough about people to take their time out to provide for homeless people, such as myself,” he said.

With help from local businesses and many gracious donations, the congregations were able to serve at least 150 people today.

“For those who may not have anywhere else to go. Whether it’s they’re on hard times or they’re older and going through the whole making of a full Thanksgiving meal is a bit much for them,” said Tricia Rodgers, the event coordinator.

“In a world where there’s division everywhere right now — it’s really important to remember that we are all of the same body and community,” Rodgers said.  

And to people like Richard — today was more about being together and being thankful for the things you do have.

“It’s a good thing to be able to socialize in the community and meet different people in the community,” Edwards said. “They’re not doing it for a paycheck, they’re doing it from the bottom of their heart because they care and I’m thankful that they do this for me personally.”

The churches are looking forward to making this a new tradition.