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Summit County nonprofits offer free meals for Thanksgiving

FRISCO — Aimee Straw remembers when the weekly meals offered by the Rotary Club of Summit County meant more to her than just a chance to get out of the house.

She and her husband moved to Summit County to start new jobs in 2012, and early on, they “had a little trouble putting food on the table.” She said those dinners ultimately helped them to get their feet under them and get established.

Now, amid the challenges associated with the ongoing pandemic, Straw said the idea of canceling Rotary’s annual free Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t really in the cards.



“We could’ve easily said, ’You know, there’s some challenges. Let’s not do it.’ But that’s not at the heart of Rotary,” she said.

The Rotary Club and Father Dyer United Methodist Church will be providing free dinners to community members this Thanksgiving. However, unlike in years past, all of the offerings will be served in to-go packaging.

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Rev. Calob Rundell, the pastor at Father Dyer, said even though the dinner will be served on the go, they’re still expecting 200-300 people to stop by this year, which would be similar to 2019 when more than 200 people ate dinner at the church.

“It’s always great food and usually great company, but this year, it’s great food,” said Jennifer McAtamney, the executive director at Building Hope Summit County, which has helped organize equipment, volunteers and marketing for the dinner at Father Dyer.

Most of the dinner at Father Dyer will be prepared by Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, though community members and congregants at Father Dyer will be providing pies. McAtamney said the goal is to provide a whole pie to everyone who grabs dinner at Father Dyer, and Rundell is optimistic there will be plenty.

“We’re planning on having lots and lots of pie,” he said. “We do know that for a fact.”

Summit Rotary is also getting plenty of help from community partners. Mike and Tenley Spry, the owners of Sunshine Cafe, have provided turkey for the dinner, the Keystone Conference Center is providing kitchen space and Vail Epic Promise has contributed to help put on the dinner.

The Rotary dinner will be prepackaged in four-person portions, with the hope that people will be able to enjoy a social dinner with their households, even if they aren’t able to enjoy the community gathering. Still, Straw encourages anyone who wants some food to come and get some.

“Even if you’re just feeding one person, come on over and get some leftovers,” she said.

If you go

Father Dyer United Methodist Church, 310 Wellington Road, Breckenridge

• Hours: 4-7 p.m.

• Menu: Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, homestyle stuffing, cranberry orange compote and pie

• Cost: free

The Rotary Club of Summit County, Silverthorne Pavilion, 400 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne

Hours: Noon to 3 p.m.

Menu: Traditional Thanksgiving dinner (serves four)

Cost: free

 


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