Hundreds gather for Thanksgiving meal
The 41st annual community Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Family of Woodstock drew about 600 people who were served by more than 100 volunteers.
A long line formed outside the town’s Mescal Hornbeck Community Center on Rock City Road, starting at 1 p.m. Thursday, for a feast that kept the parking lot packed until closing time hours later.
“We can’t count people, so we count plates,” said organizer Tamara Cooper, a Family house director. “It’s a lot of people, always a good time.”
About 1,000 plates were prepared this year for the Woodstock feast, Cooper said, noting that last year about 600 plates were served in house and about 300 takeout meals were prepared. Homebound callers can have dinners delivered to them door for free.
Volunteer Cameron Williams, who has worked the event for about six years, said, “It’s fun. I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday because we all have something for which we can be thankful.”
“I love it here in Woodstock because everybody comes out,” Williams said. “It’s not just the hungry and the street people. It’s your neighbors, and we get to catch up with each other.”
The food included standard Thanksgiving fare and some fancy side dishes donated by restaurants in Woodstock, Kingston and Saugerties. One favorite dish, gobbled up quickly, was a coconut-based curry vegetable soup from Yum Yum Noodle Bar.
Family, a multiprogram human services agency, was founded in 1970 and provides assistance throughout Ulster County.
The kitchen at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center in Woodstock was buzzing with activity on Thanksgiving.