Community Thanksgiving Dinner switches to drive-thru style serving

stock image

OnFocus – The community-sponsored Marshfield Community Thanksgiving Dinner will once again be dishing out meals on Thanksgiving Day this year.

In past years, the meal has been family style but this year, they will have a drive-thru style in the American Legion parking lot.

According to event co-organizer Jan Altmann, this year the meals will all be pre-packaged and volunteers will hand meals to people as they drive through the parking lot.

People will be limited to four meals per vehicle but if you would like more, you may call ahead and organize that with co-organizer Julie Hastreiter and Altmann.

Marshfield Community Foundation gave money via a grant to help offset the expenses of the dinner.

Donations are a huge part of what makes the Community Thanksgiving Dinner possible.

Marshfield High School FCCLA made the stuffing, Gardner Cranberry donates the cranberries and Pick N’ Save has also helped make the meal possible with its donations.

The meal is free but donations are accepted and any funds that are raised beyond what the group needs to put the meal on will be donated to local food pantries.

“When we took this over in 2003 or 2005, we found that the absolute best thing about this was that it was truly a community dinner,” Altmann said. “We would see every socioeconomic group come in. We would have brand new families who are new to Marshfield. We’ve had retired couples whose families are distant. We’ve had generations of families who show up. It’s been the most incredible event I’ve ever seen.”

In past years, the dinner has served anywhere from 200-500 meals either in-person or delivered to homes but the team isn’t sure what to expect for this year’s turnout.

With serving this many people, Altmann stays humble in knowing that she and the team are just doing their part to help the community.

“It’s not about personal satisfaction,” Altmann said. “The greatest gift for me is seeing people come together. We put aside everything else and we come for the day to do this for our community. This isn’t based on politics or religion or whatever. This is based on human beings helping each other.”

Attendees are reminded that there will be a line of cars waiting to get their meals so if the line continues onto Maple Ave., please do not block driveways, intersections or the middle of the road.

The meal will be held at the American Legion Post 54 at 2100 S Maple Ave. Dinners will be handed out from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m on Thursday, Nov. 26.

You can contact Jan and Julie at 715-387-3333 or email [email protected] ahead of Thanksgiving Day if you plan to have more than four meals. You can also reach them at 715-384-9697 on Thanksgiving Day.

All information can also be found at the Marshfield Post 54 American Legion website.

We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!

Neal Hogden
Author: Neal Hogden