NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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New Philadelphia, Ohio (WJER) - The First Christian Church in New Philadelphia is again making sure everyone had an opportunity to stuff themselves for Thanksgiving.  

The church hosted its annual free community meal Wednesday with about 100 volunteers helping with prep work and serving the dinners.

One of those volunteers, Jeremy Page of New Philadelphia, said he and his brother were in charge of the kitchen.

"We had about eight people in there at the time keeping everything moving and everybody fed When the rush comes it gets busy," he said.

Nancy Cooke of New Philadelphia said she was there again like every year serving turkey as they passed through one of the lines. 

“People are pretty patient, and it’s just all about being together and offering the opportunity for people to come and visit and have a good Thanksgiving,” she said.

Pastor Jim Borton says the church has been offering the meal for 18 years now.

“There’s always a need. There’s still a need so we’re going to keep doing it. At the same time, our volunteers love it. For some folks, this is one of the funnest days of the year in the life of the church. I look at it as, ‘Ok, as long as God keeps giving us an opportunity, we’ll just keep doing it,” he said

Chuck Laizure of the Dennison area said he appreciates these gatherings.   

“This is our second Thanksgiving. We had Thanksgiving with our in-laws Saturday a week ago. We’ve been coming here probably four or five years. It’s very good, and we’re very blessed to have it,” he said.

Shaun Boyd of New Philadelphia said he first saw the sign and stopped by for something to eat a few years ago, and has been coming back ever since.

“It’s great for the community because some people don’t have places to go on the actual day of Thanksgiving,” he said.

Borton said they were expecting to serve about 1,100 people throughout the day. He said any leftovers would be donated to the homeless shelter or area safety forces. 

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