As they have done every year for the past three decades, volunteers from a Riverside church will be delivering Thanksgiving meals this week to several thousand individuals and families throughout the area.

Beginning Tuesday afternoon and continuing all day Wednesday, volunteers from Central Community Christian Fellowship on Arlington Avenue will be distributing plates full of fixings, ready to be warmed and consumed on the holiday.

“The seniors, singles and small families who depend on us are receiving a beautiful meal — with all the trimmings and dessert — delivered to their doorstep … before Thanksgiving, packed in a microwavable container for the big day,” according to a church statement. “A bunch of thought, planning and logistics have gone into this. It’s so very different.”

The church’s 33rd annual Thanksgiving Day Outreach was going to be like the preceding ones, but the coronavirus public health lockdowns upended plans, dashing the possibility of a mass gathering that typically feeds more than 500 people who traditionally gather at the church property.

Instead, all meals will be delivered, and the church will be closed on Thursday.

In past years, up to 4,000 meals have been sent out, largely to Meals-on-Wheels dependents. But the number is expected to be larger this time to ensure that recipients “share the miracle” of Thanksgiving, “in a year many of us would like to forget and in which it’s been easy to feel left out, overlooked, or like so many who’ve lost their jobs — just not have enough,” according to the church.

Turkeys, along with stuffing, mashed potatoes and other trappings, have been made in the church kitchen and with the help of McGrath’s Catering in Riverside, organizers said.

“Turkey baskets,” loaded with frozen gobblers, were also arranged this year and have been handed out over the last week.

“For all of you who normally share Thanksgiving with us … we’ll miss being together,” according to the church.

More information is available at www.centralcommunity.com.

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