PITTSFIELD — The Christian Center urgently needs turkeys, all the trimmings and volunteers to successfully feed nearly 500 people this Thanksgiving.
The nonprofit agency on Robbins Avenue is behind in food donations and the necessary help to pull off its annual feast on Thursday for those less fortunate this holiday season.
"By now, people are bringing us turkeys by the carload, but not this year," said Karen Ryan, the center's kitchen/food pantry manager. "We need cranberry sauce, vegetables, and especially milk, butter and dinner rolls."
Food and monetary donations can be dropped off at the center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
Every Thanksgiving, the center serves up to 125 people starting at noon, until everyone is served. In addition, volunteers fan out across the Pittsfield area to deliver the meals to another 350 shut-ins.
"We use 20 drivers altogether and we need another five to six drivers," Ryan noted. "We also need people to set up, plate the meals, serve the meals and clean up."
The deliveries are vital as the Meals on Wheels program in the Berkshires doesn't operate on Thanksgiving Day.
But before the first slice of turkey with gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes butternut squash and green beans hit the plates, dozens of volunteers assist the chefs with the food preparation. Students from the Berkshire Hills Regional School District in Great Barrington and Sabic employees from Pittsfield on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively will peel potatoes, cut up the vegetables, and perform other kitchen duties, according to Ryan.
Formed 120 years ago, The Christian Center is the oldest human services agency in the Berkshires that offers breakfast and lunch daily every weekday, with a lunch offered every third Saturday. The center also operates a boutique and food pantry Wednesday through Friday and provides several educational, wellness and life skills programs for the betterment of the community.
The Christian Center in Pittsfield is seeking food, volunteers and monetary donations in order to serve nearly 500 Thanksgiving meals on Thursday;
• Turkeys, milk, butter and rolls are especially needed.
• Checks toward funding the dinners should be made out to The Christian Center, 193 Robbins Ave, Pittsfield, Mass., 01201 or they can be dropped off at the center during its regular hours; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
• Volunteers are needed Thanksgiving Day at the center and to deliver meals to shut-ins throughout the city.
For information, call 413-443-2828 and ask for Karen, Cindy or Ellen.