On Nov. 14, Brookfield Township Outreach Association held its last meeting before what, for it, is the big day – Nov. 20, when the organization holds a free community dinner for Brookfield and Masury residents.
Association Trustee Judi Burdette said the group is in good shape for the monumental task of feeding 1,000 people.
“It always works,” Burdette said.
The food is in place, and the volunteer cooks and servers are lined up. The only area where the group could use a few more people is in delivering meals to shut-ins.
“I have four teams,” said organizer Jean Malandro. “I need seven.”
Each team consists of a driver and a runner.
“It’s only about an hour-and-a-half to two-hour commitment,” said organizer Jean McKenzie.
Call Malandro at 330-883-4122 if you’re interested in delivering.
Deliveries are made early in the afternoon, and then sit-down meals are served from 3 to 7 p.m. at the banquet hall at 774 Route 7.
The dinner, in its ninth year, features turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, drinks and a variety of pies and cakes.
The idea for the dinner originated with Methodist churches in Brookfield, Masury, Hubbard and Coalburg, whose members were tasked with doing something to reach into their communities. The Mission Committee of Brookfield United Methodist Church pledged $1,000, which was followed up by donations from local groups, service organizations and individuals.
The first dinner was held in 2010 and served more than 500 sit-down meals with 150 deliveries.
BTOA incorporated as a non-profit the following year, and the number of dinners has climbed each year, with 978 served and 245 deliveries in 2017 for a total of more than 6,300 meals served in eight years.
Local businesses and individuals continue to support the effort through donations of money, food and other items, and discounts on food.
Donations of nonperishable food items will be accepted at the dinner and given to the Brookfield Middle School Food Pantry and other local food pantries.
The organization donates leftover food to the Warren Rescue Mission, and financially supports two community activities put on by Brookfield United Methodist Church: Santa’s Workshop, which will be held Dec. 8 at the church and on the green in Brookfield Center; and the coloring contest at Summer Fest, the annual community festival also held on the green and at the church.