The Cambrian

Thanksgiving hands on deck; food needed

So many generous volunteers have signed up to help during Cambria’s free community Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 28 that chef/organizer Daun Putney already has a standby list of those willing to jump in at the last minute if they’re needed.

But she still needs donations of specific food items to serve to the hundreds of people who share the meal each year.

The festive 2013 meal is set for 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 28, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St.

Everyone is welcome to partake, regardless of economic status. Meals can even be delivered to those unable to get there because of illness or hardship. However, those recipients must call Putney at 927-4064 to make arrangements no later than Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Three categories of donations are especially needed this year, Putney said Nov. 18: Fresh-roasted turkey with the drippings (to make the gravy yummy); dressing; and mashed potatoes.

She can provide instructions, if needed.

Putney doesn’t need anything fancy, she said. Serving that large a crowd, she must accommodate common food allergies and dislikes, so (please) no exotic marinades or glazes, walnuts in the stuffing or tons of garlic in the potatoes.

The best birds are 18 to 20 pounds, she said, simply roasted and delivered by 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day. If a volunteer must roast it earlier, arrangements can be made for a different delivery date and time.

The most important part? “Make sure the turkey’s done,” she said. Meat thermometers help a lot.

Volunteers of all ages are what keep the event strong and growing, from those who cook, decorate, serve and clean to those like Putney who organize the entire festivity that’s shepherded by the Cambria Vineyard Church and other congregations.