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Fairfield churches set Thanksgiving meal record

Volunteers help pass out Thanksgiving meals at First United Methodist Church in Fairfield on Thursday. (James Jennings/The Union)
Volunteers help pass out Thanksgiving meals at First United Methodist Church in Fairfield on Thursday. (James Jennings/The Union)

The annual community Thanksgiving meal at First United Methodist Church in Fairfield may have had to move to a carryout and delivery only format, but they still served a record number of meals Thursday.

Carrie Brownlee, one of the meal organizers, said they served 467 Thanksgiving meals.

“We put a record number of meals out yesterday,” Brownlee said Friday morning. “Everything went really great.”

The annual event — a joint production of nearly a half dozen Fairfield churches — moved to the carryout format to meet state restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19.

While reservations were strongly encouraged, volunteers still were able to accommodate people who showed up without reservations.

“We had some show up without reservations, and we served as many of them as we could,” Brownlee said, adding that of the 467 meals served, about 385 of them had reservations.

She estimated that there were 30-35 volunteers who helped get out the dinners on Thursday.

“Some helped with deliveries,” Brownlee said. “Some helped cut and box pies, and some helped check-in names with reservations.”

A steady stream of vehicles pulled up to the church to pick up meals, while an assembly line of volunteers prepared the meal boxes.

First United Methodist Church was not alone in putting together this Thanksgiving meal.

Brownlee said that First Lutheran Church helped by preparing the stuffing for the meal, while First Christian church supplied the rolls.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a monetary donation that went toward purchasing green beans, potatoes and gravy for the meal. The Catholic Knights of Columbus provided the pies.

“I’d like to send out a big thank you to everyone who volunteered,” Brownlee said. “It’s fantastic to do something normal in a year that hasn’t been normal.”