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‘No one gets turned away on Thanksgiving Day’

GREENFIELD — The Salvation Army in Greenfield will open its doors today at 11 a.m. for its annual Thanksgiving meal, and Capt. Dan Brunelle is expecting a dinner crowd between 100 and 150 people.

The meal — which will be cooked and served at 11:30 a.m. by about 25 Salvation Army advisory board members and other volunteers — will feature 11 turkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, cranberry sauce, bread, pie and more.

“It gives the folks who are really looking for a family atmosphere a place to be on the holiday,” said Brunelle. “By having the meal available on Thanksgiving, it helps (them) cope with loneliness ... (and) have a place where they can celebrate the holiday with other people.”

Brunelle said that past meals have featured a true cross section of the community. There will be families, elderly men and women, people with low income or limited access to cooking facilities, some who are lonely and others that are homeless, he said.

There is no application or registration required. The doors will be open to all, he said.

“No one gets turned away on Thanksgiving Day,” said Brunelle.

Although Brunelle did not know the total value of the food, he said that about 75 percent of it was donated to the Salvation Army. The rest was purchased to fill in the missing pieces of the meal.

Donations came from all over town — from schools, banks, restaurants, churches and individuals.

“The spirit on that day is beautiful ... the desire to help those that are less fortunate,” said Brunelle. “Those who volunteer ... came to be a blessing and they end up getting blessed.”

Doors open at 11 a.m. with the meal served a half-hour later. The Salvation Army is hoping to have enough food to give people bags of leftovers to take home with them.

You can reach Chris Shores at:
cshores@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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