Rogersville's free Thanksgiving dinner seeks volunteers, servers, donors

Jeff Bobo • Updated Nov 16, 2018 at 12:51 PM

ROGERSVILLE — There’s still time to donate your time and/or resources to Rogersville’s massive free Thanksgiving dinner, as well as to order a hot, traditional home-cooked meal delivered, or a ride to the event.

With less than a week to go before the big day, planning continues for the 15th annual People Loving People Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. at Joseph Rogers Primary School, 2001 E. Main St.

More than 3,500 meals were served last year, and event chairman and co-founder Dr. Blaine Jones is preparing to serve at least that many in 2018.

“Funding will always be an issue as our meal counts grow and the price of food continues to rise,” Jones said. “We have continually seen the cost of the meal rise over the last 10 years or so, but God has continued to provide a means to get it paid for. We also have jobs available in many areas, and we need lots of folks to help staff them.”

Volunteers are still needed to help with all facets of the meal beginning as early as 10 a.m. on Wednesday until as late as 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Desserts and breads have been in short supply the last few years and are greatly needed this year.

Anyone wanting to make breads and desserts can drop them off at the school starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21.

PLP also needs drivers for meal deliveries and packers to prepare every to-go meal. Anyone interested in volunteering can call (423) 921-4175 for more information.

Jones noted that this is a great opportunity for students or anyone who needs to earn community service hours/points.

Another area of need is in the preparation of desserts and breads.

“We need all the cakes, pies and cupcakes we can get,” Jones said. “Every meal is served with a dessert, and cupcakes are the easiest for us to box up and serve, along with pies and cakes.”

He added, “Homemade dressing, or ‘stuffing’ as some may refer to it, is another staple included with the meal. We need day-old corn bread and biscuits as well as white bread to crumble up and use in our dressing mixture.”

Jone is also putting the word out to anyone who would like to either attend the dinner at the JRP cafeteria Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or have a meal delivered.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the event, where they will be served by volunteers.

Anyone in need of transportation to the dinner can arrange that by calling (423) 921-4175.

Those living within Hawkins County or nearby communities in adjacent counties can have a meal for each member of the household delivered. 

Donations to help cover the cost of the meal can be made by sending a check to the People Loving People Thanksgiving Dinner, P.O. Box 35, Rogersville, TN 37857.

Anyone interested in making a donation or becoming a sponsor of the event can call Jones at (423) 272-3150.

Times-News file Video from 2015 PLP Thanksgiving Dinner

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