Providence Baptist Church bringing back Thanksgiving meal
By Carl Blankenship
SALISBURY — The congregation at Providence Baptist Church comes together every year to give something good to the community. And this year, it hopes to give away a few hundred free meals on Nov. 26.
In the past, the church has offered folks the opportunity to dine in for the long-running event. This year, there will only be pick-up and delivery services available, which is just as well because most meals were already being delivered even in a normal year.
Pastor Sy Ponds said he will miss the in-person meal, but church organizers felt it would be best for everyone’s safety to not host it this year. Ponds said no sit-down meals have been held at the church since the COVID-19 pandemic began impacting the state.
“There are some people that come every year and say they really look forward to it,” Ponds said.
The meal gives people the chance to have a Thanksgiving meal with all the fixin’s they might miss otherwise if they live alone or do not cook. The meal is free for anyone who wants to partake. It includes turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, a roll and dessert. Ponds said everything for the meals is provided by members of the church.
In the lead up to the event, the church starts recruiting volunteers from the congregation to take on different dishes. Cooking 10 or more turkeys requires a few kitchens to pitch in.
“There’s good cooks in the church,” Ponds said.
Ponds said the church usually has just enough food to feed everyone when the meal is winding down.
“We just feel like it is something churches should do to reach out to the community for anyone that may need something or want something,” Ponds said, adding in the past he has enjoyed giving people a place to be on Thanksgiving.
Cheryl Goodman said she usually cooks a turkey, 10 pounds of potatoes, gravy and a few small things.
She came up with the original idea and said she is thankful people appreciate the meal.
“I just love to do it because I think it’s a blessing and I am blessed for doing it,” Goodman said.
She remembers peoples faces who come and said they are always invited to church but they try not to be overbearing.
“We’re not a big church, but there’s a lot of needy people around here and I just thought it would be a great way to witness to people,” Goodman said.
Anyone who wants to take part can contact Ponds at 704-239-7904. The pickup address is 620 Andrews St. in Salisbury.
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