Mission breaks Thanksgiving meals record

Published 1:58 pm Friday, November 30, 2012

The Ironton City Welfare Mission broke a record on Thanksgiving Day when it served 948 meals to those in need.

In the case of the mission, breaking those kinds of records is not a cause for celebration.

Pastor and director Jeff Cremeans said the record was 200 meals higher than last year’s count.

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“It’s sad there is that many people who need a meal but we’re are glad that we are here to provide it,” Cremeans said.

To prepare for the dinner, 36 turkeys were baked in the homes of volunteers. Throughout the year, people donate to the mission for the cost of the food and the mission buys some as well.

In addition to the turkeys, 125 loaves of bread were used for the stuffing, 150 pounds of cabbage was shredded for coleslaw, 64 gallons of green beans were prepared as well as 100 pumpkin pies.

The mission served the meals from about 9:30 a.m. until after 1 p.m., Cremeans said.

The Thanksgiving Day meal has been a tradition for the mission for more than 60 years, as well as the annual Christmas food basket and toy giveaway.

“I think it’s a godsend that some folks had a great vision to help their fellow man,” Cremeans said. “And I’m glad to be able to just pick up the torch and go with it. It’s a blessing to help people. It’s a lot of hard work and long hours but it’s a blessing to know that you are making a difference and helping people.”

Right now, Cremeans said the mission is gearing up for the holidays, taking names for the giveaways. Today is the last day to signup for the baskets.

Last year, the mission gave away 666 food baskets and gave toys to 1,175 children. And those numbers have been increasing throughout the years, Cremeans said.

“It looks like we are going to have more children for sure,” he said. “I haven’t tallied all the food basket requests but it looks like it’s going to be probably up a little bit as well.

“And a lot are first time people. They’ve never been here before. That shows that people who have not been in that predicament are now there.”

Volunteers will fill the baskets on Dec. 21 with the giveaway on Dec. 22.

Cremeans also encouraged other organizations having food giveaways to contact the mission to compare lists.

“Other people do what we do in the area and we try to get their lists so we can compare names so that we can kind of stop some of the double dipping,” he said

To find out more about the giveaway or to sign up, call the mission at (740) 532-5041.