Lake Norman & Mooresville

Groups make sure everyone has Thanksgiving dinner

For some Lake Norman residents, there's nothing special about Thanksgiving; it's just another day struggling to find the next meal.

But some local nonprofit organizations are trying to make sure that everyone has a place to go on Thursday.

As it does every year, Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville will serve a Thanksgiving meal from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with all the fixings: turkey, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, cakes, pies and more.

But this year will be particularly festive because the soup kitchen will not limit how much food each person may eat, said executive director Sandy Tilley.

"I want them to say, 'I ate so much, I'm going to be sick. I can't eat anymore,'" she said. "That's an experience everyone should have."

Tilley said she decided to change the policy after the soup kitchen installed its new walk-in freezer in early November, which made space for more food.

"Normally, we wouldn't have room for all that food," she said, adding that she expects to make twice as much as last year. "We've been really blessed."

Tilley said she expects to serve between 120 and 150 residents on Thanksgiving, similar to last year.

At the Loaves and Fishes soup pantry at Huntersville United Methodist Church, residents who qualify can pick up free groceries as usual between 10 a.m. and noon on Thanksgiving.

They also may be able to pick up a turkey today, if there are any left.

Wanda Kerns, the pantry coordinator, said she expected they would run out of turkeys by Tuesday of this week, although individual donors may drop off additional turkeys.

"I knew we weren't going to have a problem getting rid of them," said Kerns, adding that the Thanksgiving holiday is a busy time for the pantry, which serves an average of 25 families a day.

Qualifying residents can pick up free turkeys at the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson this week as well.