LINK dining room won’t be open for Thanksgiving dinner this year, but to-go meals will be available; volunteers still needed

photo by: Richard Gwin/Journal-World File Photo

First Christian Church, 1000 Kentucky St., home to the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen, is pictured in this file photo from January 2008.

The Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen’s annual community Thanksgiving dinner will undergo some operational changes this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most notably, LINK’s dining room at 221 W. 10th St. will not be open for seating on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26., coordinator Deb Engstrom told the Journal-World.

For those who want to enjoy a meal but don’t want to take it home, Engstrom said LINK has petitioned the city of Lawrence to block off 10th Street near First Christian Church and the LINK dining room. Ideally, she said, LINK could erect a large tent for people to eat their meals while staying socially distanced, wearing masks and practicing sanitation measures.

If that request is denied, though, all meals will be to-go this Thanksgiving.

That said, meals will still be delivered as normal this year, and most of the food preparation and packaging will be done by Maceli’s Banquet Hall, Engstrom said.

Meals will be served from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 26, and masks will be required for all volunteers and guests, Engstrom said. She also said people wishing to have their meals delivered should sign up through their congregate living location or other social service agency.

Because of the pandemic, fewer volunteers than normal will be needed to help with this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, Engstrom said. LINK will need people to help with assembling meals and to serve as delivery drivers.

Engstrom said those who wish to volunteer should sign up on the LINK website,, after Nov. 1. Volunteers cannot be accepted on a drop-in basis this year because of local and state COVID-19-related gathering restrictions, Engstrom said.


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