Free Thanksgiving dinners cultivate community

Milford. The Thanksgiving day dinners sponsored by the Pike County Ecumenical Food Pantry at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Milford and by St. Vincent de Paul Church in Dingman are longstanding traditions.

| 18 Nov 2019 | 03:31

With two free community dinners in the offing, a happy Thanksgiving in Milford is in the bag.

Both dinners -- one sponsored by the Pike County Ecumenical Food Pantry at the Church of the Good Shepherd, and the other by St. Vincent de Paul Church -- are longstanding traditions. Both are offered on Thanksgiving day, Thursday, Nov. 28.

Church of the Good Shepherd

The choice is yours: sit down to dinner with your neighbors at the Church of the Good Shepherd (110 West Catharine St., Milford), or have your dinner delivered to your door.

For 32 years, the Pike County Ecumenical Food Pantry has offered a free Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings or those who cannot be with their families or who are in need. All are invited to share in the food and fellowship. Volunteers are always welcome.

The meal will be served at noon. Of course the day starts much earlier,- at 9 a.m., for the volunteers cooks, since they first pack up and deliver turkey dinners with lots of extras to people in meals on wheels programs or anyone who finds it difficult to come out. Deliveries start at 11 a.m.

This program is made possible through the efforts of many people. Local businesses donate money to buy the food. The church provides its ample kitchen and hall. Students and Scouts help with set up and delivery. Many others will bake a pie, cake, or cookies to donate for dessert. And area volunteers cook and serve the food in a pleasant family atmosphere. It is a yearly tradition for many of the volunteers, who will often join their own families for Thanksgiving dinner later.

If you know anyone who would like a meal delivered, or to get more information, call Steve Davis at 570-228-7699, even up to Thanksgiving morning. Some transportation can be provided.

St. Vincent de Paul Church

Everyone's welcome at St. Vincent de Paul Church (101 St. Vincent Drive, off Route 739 in Dingman Township, across from Ray-N-Charles) from 2 to 4 p.m. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall and the dinner buffet begins at 2 p.m.

Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling the parish office at 570-686-4545 or emailing

The meal is sponsored by the parishioners and friends of St. Vincent de Paul Church. No transportation or delivery is available.

To help the church provide the community dinner, call the church at 570-296-8123. Turkeys must be dropped off by Friday, Nov. 22. Canned goods, gift cards and monetary donations should be made no later than Sunday, Nov. 24. Appetizers, vegetable dishes, desserts, and side dishes may be dropped off at the Parish Hall at the following dates and times: Monday, Nov. 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, Nov. 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. Other donations may be dropped off in the parish hall any weekend before the dinner.

Needed items:
St. Vincent de Paul Church says all of the following items are needed: or its Thanksgiving dinner:
Cranberry sauce
Can/jar olives, gravy and sweet gherkin pickles
Cans of cream of mushroom soup
Five-pound bags of potatoes
Stove Top stuffing mix
Bottled water, juices, soda or apple cider
Coffee, regular and decaffeinated
Tea bags
Paper towels
Cans/cartons of chicken stock
Ritz or other crackers
Large cans of sweet potatoes/yams
Cans of French fried onions
Cans/jars of pickled beets
Wal-Mart gift cards
Weis Market gift cards
Support the dinner and the parish by purchasing gift cards at the Loaves and Fishes table.