Volunteers carved more than 250 pounds of turkey to bring the spirit of Thanksgiving to more than 200 needy people Thursday.
The free holiday dinner, sponsored by the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen, was served at the First Christian Church, 1000 Ky., and about 30 volunteers took part serving, cooking and setting up for the Thanksgiving feast.
"We had people coming in off the street wanting to help," said Pam Casagrande, a member of LINK and coordinator of the dinner.
She said about 120 people were served dinner at the church and another 85 meals were delivered to individuals who could not leave their homes.
Casagrande said many people who came to the church were not necessarily physically hungry, but did not want to spend Thanksgiving alone.
"A lot of times the people who come to eat are not desperately hungry, but just want companionship," she said.
"People who would normally be alone can come in here and they can be with other people. This way, no one has to be alone on Thanksgiving," she said.
Although the dinner wasn't scheduled to start until 1 p.m., Casagrande said people started coming in about noon.
In addition to the turkey served at the fifth annual dinner, LINK volunteers were dishing out mashed potatos and gravy, cranberries, green beans, stuffing, rolls, and pumpkin and apple pie.
About 20 tables were set up for the feast, and a total of 264 pounds of turkey in the form of a dozen donated 22-pound turkeys were carved for the dinner.
Casagrande said all of the leftovers from Thursday's dinner would go to Women's Transitional Care Services and would be served at future meals for the needy.
"The food will all be used by the community for the needy," she said.
Casagrande also said meals for the needy will be made available every Saturday from 12:30 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. by a group called the Secular Franciscans. She said the group would be serving a cold sack lunch for anyone who needs it from the garage of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1229 Vt.