Team effort to deliver holiday dinners

The Catskill Elks Lodge teamed up with Community Action to serve more than 100 Thanksgiving dinners to area residents in 2016. This year's Thanksgiving will be a bit different due to the coronavirus pandemic. File photo

The COVID-19 pandemic will not get in the way of feeding those in need this Thanksgiving.

Some community dinners have been canceled and others changed to takeout and delivery.

Community Action of Greene County is seeing an increase in need with the cancellation of other dinners, Director Florence Ohle said.

“This year, with COVID, we weren’t going to do it but we reached out to the Department of Human Services and they weren’t doing one, Liam and Laura Singer at Avalon Longue said they weren’t going to do one, so it just felt like we had to do something,” Ohle said.

Community Action is partnering with Avalon Lounge and the Catskill Elks Lodge to prepare meals this year, Ohle said.

“Last year we delivered 111 dinners throughout the entire county,” she said. “There were 184 requests for dinners as of Monday.”

“It’s a big undertaking,” Ohle said. “This is something we feel very strongly about and are glad to do it for the community.”

The meals are distributed to senior citizens, low-income households and the homeless, Ohle said.

“We have quite a few homeless individuals that we are aware of in the motels that have no way to store food or prepare food in their room,” she said.

Community Action’s mobile food pantry visits the motels a couple times a week, Ohle said, adding that announcements for Thanksgiving dinners were distributed to these communities.

The dinner was also advertised to senior citizens in the Greene County Department of Human Services’ Round Table News.

Community Action is seeking volunteers to prepare meals at the Elks Lodge and to deliver meals throughout the county.

Meals will be delivered beginning at 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day throughout the county, with each driver delivering about 10 to 15 meals, Ohle said. Ohle estimated deliveries take about 90 minutes on average.

Monetary donations to purchase the food are also being accepted, Ohle said.

The dinners include turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn with sides of rolls, pickles and olives and a dessert, which is typically apple pie or pumpkin pie, Ohle said.

The dinners, which have been distributed for about five years, also include a donation of pumpkin bread from Potters Table, Ohle said.

To register for the dinner or to volunteer, call 518-943-9205. Volunteer applications are also available at

Matthew 25 Food Pantry is holding its annual Thanksgiving basket giveaway Saturday at 10 a.m. Tickets can be picked up at the pantry or reserved by calling 518-943-5890.

Matthew 25 founder and executive director Patti Dushane will be giving out 108 turkeys this year, she said.

Despite some COVID-19 changes, operations at the pantry have continued as usual, Dushane said.

“It doesn’t matter what goes on, people still got to eat,” she said.

The pantry increased its hours when the pandemic hit and is seeing an uptick in requests as the holidays draw near, Dushane said.

Hope’s Mission of Greene County will be offering takeout or delivery dinners at the First Reformed Church in Coxsackie from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Call 518-731-8989 to register.

Catskill Ecumenical Council will have its annual Thanksgiving baskets for families living in the Catskill Central School District. To register, call Community Action at 518-943-9205 before Nov. 20. Baskets will be distributed Nov. 24 at Community Life Church.

Across the river, the First Presbyterian Church in Hudson will continue its annual tradition of nearly 40 years by serving those in need on Thanksgiving Day. The dinners will be by delivery only and can be reserved by calling 518-828-4275 or emailing

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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