WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – People were happy to be enjoying a turkey dinner with all the fixings at the Warren Family Mission on Wednesday.
With the high cost of gas and inflation, organizers expected to serve more meals this year than what was served to go in 2021.
For the first time since 2019, the doors were opened at the Warren Family Mission for the annual Thanksgiving community dinner. Those enjoying the meal said they were happy to be able to sit down and enjoy it as a community.
“It surprised me. It’s delicious,” said Josephine Haynes, of Warren.
Haynes was thrilled to be able to share a meal with her childhood friends.
“You see friends and family that you never see in a long time, you know? It’s a nice place to get to wind down and enjoy,” she said.
A sentiment echoed by others who went out to enjoy the free dinner.
“I’m thankful that they have all this nice stuff for people to go to and just meeting people,” said Sheryl Dufey, of Warren.
“To be able to come together and celebrate a Thanksgiving meal, it’s just the heart of our mission and to be able to share in that fellowship and to be able to share in that food. We couldn’t be more excited to do so,” said Dominic Mararri, public relations director for the Warren Family Mission.
The Mission prepared 6,000 pounds of turkey, 150 pounds of stuffing, 100 pounds of vegetables and gallons of gravy for the Thanksgiving feast.
More than 120 volunteers helped out by setting up, packing meals to go, delivering more than 1,200 dinners and serving in the dining area. Warren Mayor Doug Franklin even helped out.
“It’s important for me to send that message that our community cares so much about them having a good holiday. That’s what we do as a community, we reach out to others, we help those in need,” Franklin said.
So many people donated to help with the main course this year that the Mission had enough to give away turkeys to the first 150 people who sat down to eat.
“Once again, it’s evidence that the Mahoning Valley does truly step up. We went from having no turkeys to having an abundance of turkeys,” Mararri said.