By Susan Redden
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Area residents who want to fill up on turkey and the trimmings for Thanksgiving don’t have to fire up their ovens.
A number of churches and other organizations will sponsor holiday dinners that are open to anyone in their community. Most will be served on Thanksgiving Day, though Crosslines Churches of Neosho got a jump on the season with a dinner served Saturday at the Lampo Building. In Miami, Okla., a holiday dinner will be served Wednesday. A Thanksgiving breakfast is scheduled in Diamond, and there will be a brunch at Souls Harbor in Joplin.
• This year will mark the 15th annual dinner served by First United Methodist Church of Joplin. The meal is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the church at Fourth Street and Byers Avenue. Meals also will be delivered by volunteers.
“The turkey, dressing and potatoes are cooked here at the church, and desserts and salads are brought in by church members. It’s always good,” said Sue Cowen, a member of the church.
Normally, about 400 meals are served, she said. Those who want a meal delivered are asked to call the church at 417-623-2796 by noon Wednesday.
Cowen said church members help at the dinner, and added, “We have people who are not members but come every year to help serve and deliver to shut-ins.”
• The Joplin Salvation Army expects to serve more than 600 people at its headquarters at 320 E. Eighth St. or with meals delivered to homes, said Lt. Jamie Curry.
The meal will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Those who want a meal delivered should call Katie Cook at the Salvation Army, 417-624-4528, through Wednesday.
“We normally serve 200 to 300 people each day, and it’s about twice that at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Curry said.
Volunteers deliver meals to the homebound, and Curry said some extra hands are needed for chores including sorting toys and decorating. She said volunteers may sign up by calling Cook or via the Salvation Army’s website, www.ringbells.org.
• Souls Harbor will serve its Thanksgiving brunch from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Thursday at 915 S. Main St.
• In Carthage, the annual dinner is set for noon to 2 p.m. Thursday at the Carthage Crisis Center, 100 S. Main St. Last year, about 300 people were served at the center, and 200 meals were delivered to homes.
“Last year, we delivered as far as Joplin, Webb City and Sarcoxie, and we will again this year,” said Pam Boswell, a volunteer.
Those who want a meal delivered should call the center at 417-358-3533. Residents also may call the center if they want to volunteer to help.
• In Diamond, a Thanksgiving Day breakfast will be served by the Diamond High School student council and National Honor Society. The free breakfast is set for 7 to 9 a.m. in the Diamond High School commons area. The free meal is to show appreciation to the community for its support of school activities.
• In Pittsburg, Kan., a 30-year tradition will continue with the community Thanksgiving Day dinner set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church, 304 W. Third St.
About 700 meals were served a year ago, said Lance Davis, a member of the planning committee. He said the effort involves a number of local organizations and about 10 churches in the community. Members of the National Honor Society at Pittsburg High School will make home deliveries.
“We have a lot of volunteers not necessarily affiliated with any church that come and help,” Davis said. “This dinner is for anyone in the community, so no one has to be alone on the holidays.”
• In Miami, Okla., First United Methodist Church, 200 B St. N.W., will serve a Thanksgiving meal from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. The church serves a monthly dinner and adjusts the schedule to coincide with Thanksgiving, said JoAnne Mancusi, a volunteer.
“We’re planning to serve about 400, and we’ll also take dinners to the women’s Crisis Center,” she said. “This meal is open to anyone who doesn’t want to eat alone.”
In addition, Miami Church of Christ will serve a community Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday at the church, 124 B St. N.W.
• In Lamar, a community Thanksgiving dinner will be served starting at noon Thursday at First Baptist Church, 1301 E. Sixth St. The meal is free; reservations are requested for planning purposes. Those who want to make reservations or to arrange for home deliveries should call 417-682-3538.
Tons of turkey
NEARLY 88 PERCENT of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Foundation. The group estimates that 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the United States over Thanksgiving in 2011.