About 950 LINK meals delivered or served downtown on Thanksgiving Day

photo by: Elvyn Jones

Guest and volunteers take part in LINK's Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, at First Christian Church in Lawrence.

As he finished his Thanksgiving Day meal in the basement of Lawrence’s First Christian Church, David Atwell said he was thankful for the feast provided by Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen.

“I live in a tent at Clinton Lake,” he said. “I’m not much of a fancy eater. It’s nice. A lot of effort went into making the meal with turkey, dressing, pie and everything. I appreciate it.”

Atwell was one of about 150 guests that a team of LINK volunteers was prepared to serve, said LINK board member Anne Emert, as the first diners lined up.

“It looks like we’ll make that number,” she said. “There’s a good line already.”

The guests at the downtown location represented only a small percentage of LINK meals served Thursday, Emert said.

“More than 800 meals were delivered in Lawrence and Douglas County,” she said, noting that the annual celebration is “a real community effort.”

“Forty organizations and (businesses) and hundreds of volunteers donated food, money or volunteered to prepare the food, package it for delivery, gave up time on the holiday to deliver meals to homes or came here to serve the meal,” Emert said.

One of those volunteers was Darby Lohrding, of Lecompton, who, along with fellow volunteer Jared Konie, was set to clean up after the meal.

“Jared and I are on the back end,” she said. “He will be washing and I drying. It’s not a glamorous job, but it’s a way I can help ensure people have a good meal and joy for Thanksgiving.”


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