New Life Christian Fellowship Church will hold a Thanksgiving Day dinner from noon to 2 p.m. at 411 East Avenue in Tooele.
“We just want people to come and celebrate,” said Senior Pastor Mark Runyom. “There is a buffet set up and anyone can come.”
Runyon said he and his wife started doing the dinner because there are a lot of homeless or needy people in the community.
“Other organizations hold Thanksgiving dinners on an off day,” he said. “We wanted them to have somewhere to go where there were people and food on the actual day. So two years ago, we decided to make the dinner a tradition and we served 150 people the first year. We expect over 250 people this year. We have about 75 volunteers to cook and serve as well.”
Many people may wonder why Runyom works to provide such a large meal.
“He just wants to reach out to the community,” said Sylvia Seddell.
The church not only provides the meal, but plenty of volunteers to serve the community.
“Last year was the first time I was involved and we had over 200 people,” said Seddell. “We usually have a page and a half to two pages of volunteers on our volunteer list. We have an average of about 50 volunteers.”
The food is all donated, usually by people in the community and then the church provides the rest. People provide turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans. They try to make it a traditional Thanksgiving meal for those who come.
“We have had plenty of people donate or help. We had a group of ladies donate $100 once,” said Runyon. “So far we have had 20 turkeys donated and some hams. Many people of our church volunteer and provide what they can. The way I see it, the church is the father of the family, and we provide everything.”
Although this is the main holiday meal New Life Christian Fellowship Church and its congregants provide, they also try to help wherever they can.
“We feed about100 families every month. We have fresh produce and we try to give what we have,” said Seddell. The church also has a clothes closet, a food bank and some medical supplies that they provide for those who are needy.
Editor’s note: Kaylee Peatross is a sophomore at Tooele High School and writes for the Buffalog.