Community Thanksgiving feeds masses


Over 1,100 free meals served

OJ Stapleton|NDL Volunteers prepare food at Stevenson Elementary on Thursday for the 18th annual Community Thanksgiving meal in Russellville. A new record of over 1,100 meals were served this year.


Photo submitted Tom O’Kelley baked 72 pumpkin pies for this year’s Community Thanksgiving dinner.


The 18th annual Community Thanksgiving meal in Russellville blew its previous record for the number of meals served out of the water this year.

In 2014, the community event served 875 free meals on Thanksgiving, which was the most ever before this year.

And on Thanksgiving this year, over 1,100 total meals were served.

“And we have leftovers for about another 100 that we are working to find homes for,” said event chair Shayna O’Kelley.

One of the reasons for the increase in the number of meals served this year was because all inmates at the Logan County Detention Center were sent a meal.

That idea came from Susan Porter of the Lewisburg Thanksgiving meal.

“They asked is we would do have of the meals for the jail,” O’Kelley said. “Since it was about 220 meals in all, we served 110 of them when we decided we would just split it.O’Kelley said a volunteer with a pair of large vans delivered all 220 meals to the jail.

Meals were also delivered to those who had to work on Thanksgiving – so meals were sent out to the fire and police departments, as well to those working at local businesses.

“We had several more deliveries like that this year,” O’Kelley said. “We’ve done them in the past, but we just had more this time. And that’s fine, because this meal is for anyone that wants to request a meal.”

All the delivered meals were prepared at Stevenson Elementary School, where some 60 to 70 volunteers gathered on Thursday to make sure everything went smoothly.

The sit down dinner was once again held at First Presbyterian Church in Russellville, where another 15 to 20 volunteers helped out.

“Everybody worked really well together,” O’Kelley said. “It went really well. The deliveries went smoothly, the dinner at the church went great and we had an awesome clean-up crew this year. I am very satisfied with how it all came together.”

OJ Stapleton|NDL Volunteers prepare food at Stevenson Elementary on Thursday for the 18th annual Community Thanksgiving meal in Russellville. A new record of over 1,100 meals were served this year.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Thanksgiving1.jpgOJ Stapleton|NDL Volunteers prepare food at Stevenson Elementary on Thursday for the 18th annual Community Thanksgiving meal in Russellville. A new record of over 1,100 meals were served this year.

Photo submitted Tom O’Kelley baked 72 pumpkin pies for this year’s Community Thanksgiving dinner.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_Pies.jpgPhoto submitted Tom O’Kelley baked 72 pumpkin pies for this year’s Community Thanksgiving dinner.
Over 1,100 free meals served

To contact OJ Stapleton, email ostapleton@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

To contact OJ Stapleton, email ostapleton@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

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