SUNBURY, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It was a feast for hundreds in Sunbury Sunday.
To some, the annual Thanksgiving feast at the Zion Lutheran Church has become a family tradition. Not only was a delicious meal served, but the food was also delivered to those who couldn’t make it.
“For us, this is what Thanksgiving is all about,” Jesse Moore said.
Thursday marked the annual Thanksgiving feast at the Zion Lutheran Church. People came from all over the area to join together for a meal.
“This has been a family tradition for us since we started our family,” Moore said.
“It’s amazing. I think that this is such a great example of community and seeing the community come together,” Tessa Moore said.
The feast included all your Thanksgiving dinner favorites: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and all the trimmings. It was prepared and served by volunteers. Organizers say the feast is not only a way to bring the community together, but it also creates a family for those who cannot be with their loved ones on the holiday.
“I know what it’s like to be alone on the holidays. I didn’t have a real good childhood and I just want to give these people a place to come. This is not just about the meal. It’s about letting these people know that they’re cared about,” organizer Rhonda Fisher said.
This is the 21st annual Thanksgiving feast. Organizers say that the original feast had 97 people and it has since grown. Fisher opened a restaurant when she first moved to Sunbury. She says she had regulars who lived in the area and would spend their days at the restaurant. When it was closing time, she would send them home with leftover food.
“The closer it got to Thanksgiving, it’s like where are they gonna go for Thanksgiving and God kinda said ‘they’re coming to you’ so thus began my first Thanksgiving,” Fisher said.
Over the years the annual Thanksgiving feast has served over a thousand meals. For those who cannot make it to the church, food is delivered to them.
“I’m proud to be here, serving the food. I’m gonna be coming back more often,” Ina Van Kirk of Sunbury said.
For more information on how to volunteer for next year’s feast, click here.