Thanksgiving is an open invitation to feast in the company of good people. And throughout El Dorado County, different charitable groups are hosting free or donation-only dinners where everyone is welcomed.
One of the biggest and best known places to share a meal is at the Community Thanksgiving Dinner which is held at Gurnell Hall at St. Patrick Church, 3109 Sacramento St., in Placerville.
In their 15th year, 300 volunteers from throughout the area expect to serve 800 meals, including 250 that will be delivered to those who are homebound.
Elly Kozlowski, who is the volunteer chairman of the event, said they are cooking 45 turkeys, all of them donated. “People have just been wonderful,” she said.
In addition, they are preparing 250 pounds of potatoes, 148 cans of yams, 150 cans of green beans, plus rolls and a lot of stuffing. Over 100 pies have already been donated — most of them pumpkin or apple. They will also have different drinks available. Kozlowski said they have plenty of volunteers this year but they still need more cans of yams and green beans.
Their Thanksgiving meal will be served from 1 to 3 p.m.
At the Community Center in Pollock Pines, the cooks are preparing 35 donated turkeys. Twenty-five came from state Sen. Ted Gaines and the rest are from people in the community. They expect from 80 to 130 people to show up for their Thanksgiving meal.
On the menu are turkey and stuffing, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, bread/muffins, pies, and an assortment of drinks. Staff said they expect dinner guests to consume 25 pounds of potatoes, 25 pounds of stuffing, 200 rolls, and at least 20 pies.
Helping out in the kitchen are six to eight volunteers who will prepare and cook the meal. Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts will help serve and bus the tables. Board members and staff will be on hand to assist.
Dinner will be served from noon to 4 p.m. The Community Center is located at 2675 Sanders Dr. in Pollock Pines. Donations are gratefully accepted but there is no charge for the meal.
A free Thanksgiving meal is also being provided by the Green Valley Church at 3500 Missouri Flat Rd. in Placerville.
They will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal, including turkey and all the trimmings. They expect up to 300 people to attend. Dinner will be served from noon to 2 p.m.
Crystal Basin Bistro in Camino is also putting on a spread for women and their children who are clients of the Center for Violence Free Relationships and the Tahoe Women’s Center.
Mike Owen, president of the bistro and winery, said they came up with the idea.
“We have a lot to be thankful about,” said Owen.
The bistro plans to serve 25 to 30 people. On the menu will be traditional items such as turkey and stuffing along with gourmet side dishes like butternut squash soup and peas with pearl onions. He said if anyone has any room after that feast, pies from Apple Hill will also be served.
Following the meal, Owen said he and his family will have their own family dinner at the bistro. “We hope the spirit of the season connects with everyone,” said Owen.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.