FAIRBORN — No one in the City of Fairborn has to eat alone on Thanksgiving, thanks to the combined efforts of the Fairborn Senior Center, local volunteers, organizations, businesses as well as the church community.
The free meal will include traditional Thanksgiving items, including turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and desserts. Two seating’s are slated for 12-1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23 at the senior center, 325 N. Third St. Maple Heights Baptist Church Pastor Chris Tannereuther will offer the blessing and has been working on establishing the event’s entertainment lineup.
If leaving the house is not an option, the senior center has it covered. It is offering a free Thanksgiving meal delivery service with plates expected to be in the hands of participants between 10-11:30 a.m. Thursday. To sign up for a delivered meal, call the senior center at 937-878-4141 by Wednesday, Nov. 22.
Approximately 264 individuals signed up last year to have a meal delivered. The meal this year is expected to serve up to 500 individuals. And after 20 years of cooking for the community, senior center officials have the “system” down. Ellen Slone-Farthing, executive director of the Fairborn Senior Center, said the radio is an essential member of the team of chefs as it “keeps them going,” while a list keeps them on track.
“I don’t want people to be hungry,” Slone-Farthing said. “There’s people out there who don’t have the means and there’s people out there who don’t want to be alone — come and eat.”
The community meal also offers an opportunity to volunteer. Slone-Farthing said she sees some individuals return to help with the event year after year, with one gentleman traveling Omaha, Nebraska to help carve the turkeys. If individuals are interested in helping with the event, they are free to show up Thanksgiving morning to lend a hand.
“I have some volunteers who start calling me in September, October to get on the list,” Slone-Farthing said. ” … When you see the first seating, it’s amazing. I’ve been doing this for 12 years and we have people who come back every year.”
While the meal is free, monetary donations will be accepted. The senior center can take reservations to eat, but no one is going to be turned away. Meal items are made possible thanks to individuals, businesses and organizations, including AmVets 444, Brookdale Senior Living, Dayspring of Miami Valley, Elmcroft of Fairborn (The Summit at Park Hills), Steve Blair, Heartland, Ellen Brunson, Foy’s stores, Belton Stroup Funeral Home, Karen Huelsman, the Fairborn Rotary Club, Greene Medical Foundation, other local organizations and Texas Roadhouse at the corner of Col. Glenn Hwy. and North Fairfield Road, who donated 600 rolls.