Vinemont serves hundreds at 1st Community Thanksgiving Meal

Vinemont Schools Child Nutrition Program staff Melanie Lee, Michelle Campbell and Candace Knowles pose for a photo at the Town of Vinemont’s Community Thanksgiving Meal Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (Kayecea Sasser)

VINEMONT, Ala. – The Town of Vinemont, with the help of several local organizations, held its first free Community Thanksgiving Meal on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Vinemont Schools lunchroom. The food was supplied by the Town and prepared by Vinemont Schools Child Nutrition Program (CNP) staff. 

Members of the Vinemont Town Council, Vinemont First Baptist Church, Destiny Church and Anon Baptist Church served plates of ham, turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cranberry sauce and rolls. Guests had the choice of pumpkin pie, pecan pie, carrot cake or apple pie for dessert. Jack’s restaurant supplied tea, and Pepsi provided Pepsi products and cups. 

The unsung heroes of the event who stayed out of view preparing food in the kitchen were CNP staff Michelle Campbell, Rebecca Bice, Candace Knowles, Melanie Lee and Amanda Moody, who came in on a day off and began cooking at 8 a.m.  

Campbell said, “The food was delicious that they ordered. It was easy for us to get it ready.” 

Anon Baptist Church Pete Grund spoke about the community’s reaction to the event, saying that everyone had been grateful. “There were three people that came up here and had two more bedridden at home, and they were just floored you could come up here and get a meal. They were even more floored when I went and got them two meals to carry home. It’s not necessarily winning the lottery, but every little bit helps,” he said. “As a pastor, I get to serve and talk to people. You never know what someone is going through, especially this time of year. This time of year can be very, very lonely.” 

The Town was prepared to serve 750 meals. Nearly 400 plates were served in the first hour. Mayor Radginal Dodson said that they did not serve as many as expected, but he hopes it will grow in the coming years. “This is the first year. It’s really a trial. It may grow,” he said. “From what we understand from other municipalities in Cullman County is that each year they’ve had it, it continues to grow.” 

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