Shannon Daugherty gives instructions for putting pies and rolls into paper bags for Thursday's delivery.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The parish hall at All Saints Episcopal Church was abuzz with the activity of more than two dozen volunteers of all ages on Wednesday evening.
All the potato peeling, pie packaging and cranberry sauce portioning was in preparation to ensure nearly 200 local seniors would have a Thanksgiving feast this Thursday.
"Over 35 years, you just figure out a way to make it happen," coordinator Shannon Daugherty said, snapping her fingers. "We've got this down to a science."
The annual event is hosted by the church and plenty of parishioners volunteeer, but many of them are also related so it's become something of a family affair.
Daugherty's mother, Diane Bleau, spearheaded the effort and she has worked her way up through the ranks in a way, starting at the kids' table scooping out cranberry sauce into plastic cups.
"There's a lot of family here," she said, pointing to cousins, in-laws and children, and her sister in the office. "Our kids are all here ... we've got family and friends."
The tasks on Wednesday included peeling nearly 100 pounds of potatoes, slicing up some 30 pumpkin pies, bagging the pie slices and rolls to go with each meal. The turkeys and mashed potatoes are cooked on Thanksgiving morning along with stuffing, and peas and carrots that are then served assembly line style for delivery. The food is provided through donations and the Northern Berkshire United Way.
"My cousin and I will be down here about 5:30 tomorrow morning putting turkeys in the oven and ready, and then everybody else will show up around 11," Daugherty said.
The effort involves a host of volunteers who show up on Thanksgiving morning to sweep away the pre-served, homemade meals to people who have registered for a visit.
While their prepping to feed those with nowhere, they've made their own arrangements for family get-together once it's all over and done.
Daugherty said the numbers have dipped a little bit, and she thinks that's because the baby boomers has "popped." But they're prepared for any last-minute calls on Thursday morning.
"One year I think we had a homeless man was out front and we invited him in," she said. "It's not our main population, you know, but if someone's out there we can help, we will. ...
"The Police Department, the Fire Department, we call them too and send them meals if we have any."
Her cousin, Syid Uqdah, said if they have any leftovers, they have figure out what to do with them so it makes sense to offer them to people working on Thanksgiving.
"Whoever's in need, we're here to feed them," he said.
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Biz Briefs: Big Y Closing Stores for Thanksgiving Holiday
Big Y Giving Workers Two Days Off
Big Y has issued a reminder that it will close all stores including Big Y World Class Markets, Table & Vine and Fresh Acres specialty market on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, as well as Friday Nov. 27. Big Y Express Gas & Convenience locations will be closed on Thanksgiving Day as well.
Big Y officials say this two-day closing is to thank the thousands of employees for their continued hard work and tenacious efforts throughout the challenges of being an essential service throughout the pandemic and so their employees can rest and spend more time with their families. In addition, the closure will allow time for extra cleaning, restocking and preparations for the remainder of the holiday season.
Big Y also closed on Easter Sunday and Monday (April 12 & 13) in order to give its teams some much needed rest. In addition to these days of rest for their employees, Big Y has provided thank-you pay and now thank-you bonuses for front-line workers in recognition of their continued commitment to each other and to their customers.
All locations will re-open on Saturday, Nov. 28, for their usual hours. More information can be found on bigy.com.
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