GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - After more than twenty years of serving meals, Gadsden’s annual CommUnity Thanksgiving is canceled this year because of COVID-19.
“This is not our ideal situation,” organizer Darlene Harcrow said. “We just could not risk people getting sick. We decided this year due to the COVID, there was no way we could house the amount of volunteers it took to cook the food, even if we decided to do just to-go.”
Harcrow said the decision was made by the CommUnity Thanksgiving board, not the city of Gadsden. She said the CommUnity Thanksgiving board is instead supporting four local churches that will each host Thanksgiving meals on a smaller scale.
“They are not set up to feed the 6,600 people,” Harcrow said. “It’s just not possible. Some of them are prepared to feed 300 people. Some of them are prepared to feed 500 people and the one that is a lot bigger is prepared to feed 1,500.”
Harcrow said the board donated more than $2,000 total to the churches; money that was donated for this year’s CommUnity Thanksgiving.
“It gives me hope,” Harcrow said. “It shows that it does not matter what denomination you are from, you are willing to reach into your heart and help others.”
Harcrow said they hope to host the CommUnity Thanksgiving again next year.
“As of next year, we are looking for bigger and better,” she said. “To come out and come back with a bang, knowing that more families and more people’s needs will be met.”
Harcrow said the Thanksgiving Day meals will be served at the following locations:
Carver Community Center is serving to-go meals only from 11am until 1pm. First Baptist Church Glencoe is serving dine in, delivery and to-go from 11am until 1pm. First Baptist Church Glencoe is also helping serve pick-up meals at E.R. Towing, starting at 10am.