Topeka Community Thanksgiving Dinner needs more food and volunteers

More food items -- as well as additional volunteers -- are needed for the 55th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner in Topeka.
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 8:34 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - More food items -- as well as additional volunteers -- are needed for the 55th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner in Topeka.

The free meal will take be served starting around noon Thursday at the Stormont Vail Events Center’s Agriculture Hall, near S.W. 17th and Tyler.

Organizers said doors for the dinner will be open shortly before the meal is served.

David Braun, president of the Topeka Community Thanksgiving Dinner Foundation, said food items still needed as of Wednesday morning included chicken broth, large cans of green beans, jellied cranberry sauce and condensed milk.

Donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the southwest door of Ag Hall. Volunteers can help unload donations from cars that pull up to the building.

In addition to more food items, Braun said about 40 more volunteers also are needed for Thursday’s meal.

Volunteers will help bring food to the tables inside Ag Hall, where about 1,000 people are expected to dine.

Another 1,700 meals are expected to be delivered to Topeka-area homes by volunteers who will be driving their vehicles.

Thursday’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be the first one held in person at Ag Hall since 2019.

Because of COVID, frozen Hungry Man dinners were distributed in 2020 from various locations across Topeka.

All 2,700 meals were prepared at Ag Hall before they were delivered by volunteers driving their vehicles in 2021.

Thursday’s meal also will be the first since the passing of Pauline Johnson, one of the founders of the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, who died in January at the age of 95.

Other longtime leaders of the dinner included Addie Spicer and Grant Cushinberry.

The Community Thanksgiving Dinner, whose motto is “No One Need Dine Alone,” is made possible by donations from people across the city.