Some Bowling Green residents might not be able to afford or otherwise enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this year, so several volunteer organizations plan to provide food for anyone who chooses to partake.

The Salvation Army, Tabernacle Ministries and a combined effort between First Christian Church and State Street United Methodist Church will offer holiday meals Thursday, complete with turkey, dressing, sides and dessert.

“Last year we had a few hundred people come and visit us,” said Maj. Carla Binnix, pastor and administrator for the Bowling Green branch of The Salvation Army. “We’re expecting between 400 and 500 people this Thursday.”

While slightly smaller in scope than The Salvation Army, Tabernacle Ministries on Old Morgantown Road will also be providing a Thanksgiving meal.

“We fed about 40 to 45 people last year when we had just moved to our new location,” said Adam Trent, pastor of Tabernacle Ministries.

“We’re expecting more guests this year, but if someone can’t make it, please give us a call and we’ll get food to you,” Trent added. “We will make it happen.”

Tabernacle Ministries and The Salvation Army both began providing meals last Thanksgiving.

“The tradition began just before I got here,” said John Wesley, minister at First Christian Church for more than 14 years.

“Our meals began as a service to the police and firemen who had to work on Thanksgiving, and we wanted to provide for them,” Wesley said. “We soon realized that there were many people that might need a little extra help as well.”

After spending several years growing the program on its own, First Christian Church began sharing volunteers and resources with State Street United Methodist Church.

“This has become a part of the tradition for some of us here,” Wesley said. “We provide for people in the afternoon and spend time with our families when the work gets done.”

All three locations will serve Thanksgiving meals from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.

— If any other organizations are sponsoring free Thanksgiving meals, call the Daily News at 783-3276 by 9 a.m. Wednesday for inclusion in Wednesday’s edition.

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