Holts Summit Soup Kitchen serves annual Thanksgiving meal

Joe Gamm/News Tribune Dale Koestner picks up Thanksgiving dinners for his wife and himself during the annual Holts Summit Soup Kitchen community Thanksgiving dinner late Thursday afternoon. He said his wife returned home from a nursing home this week, and having the prepared meal is helpful at home.

The Holts Summit Soup Kitchen hosted its pre-Thanksgiving dinner Thursday evening.

The Thanksgiving meal consisted of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, a dinner roll and dessert. Dine-in meals also included sweet potato casserole, broccoli and cheese and deviled eggs.

In addition to the Thanksgiving meal, volunteer Darrell Brauner set up two tables filled with food such as bread, chicken and fruit that people could take home for free.

"What we can't cook with, what we have too much up we'll put on the tables," Brauner said, adding there are typically five tables worth of food for people to take.

The food is usually donated from stores like Sam's Club, Aldi, Hy-Vee and Dollar General.

"We tell people if there's something here that's new, this is a good place to try it because it's free," Brauner said.

Brauner has been volunteering with the Holts Summit Soup Kitchen for 15 years. He said the soup kitchen expected to feed up to 400 people for its Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, as the soup kitchen will be closed on Thanksgiving.

On a typical night, Brauner said the soup kitchen sees around 225 people.

Rebecca and James Poe came to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal at the soup kitchen with their two granddaughters.

Rebecca Poe said "it means a lot" to be able to receive a meal, recognizing the work volunteers put in.

"These people, they work hard for us and it's an honor for them to be able to open up for the community," she said.

James Poe volunteers for the Holts Summit Soup Kitchen and likes the camaraderie from the community.

"It's a great thing we got going here, I wish everybody would support it as much as they could," he said.

Mary Steck, one of the Holts Summit Soup Kitchen's coordinators, said she gets satisfaction from serving meals "just knowing that it's appreciated and eaten."

Steck said volunteers with Central Bank and State Farm helped prepare and serve food for the Thanksgiving meal, in addition to the soup kitchen's 10 regular volunteers.

The soup kitchen has a lot of community support, Steck said, from both businesses and individuals.

"Anytime I need something, I just let somebody know," Steck said.

Meals at the soup kitchen are served 4-5:45 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Holts Summit Civic Center, 282 S. Greenway Drive.

photo Joe Gamm/News Tribune William Fogge enjoys Thanksgiving dinner during the annual Holts Summit Soup Kitchen community meal. He was among more than 350 people who enjoyed the event.
photo Joe Gamm/News Tribune Chyral Hanger, right, a retired Central Bank of Holts Summit employee, and Blaire Frank, who works at the bank, serve up hot carry-out dinners during the annual Holts Summit Soup Kitchen community Thanksgiving meal. The women said they were among a group of volunteers from the bank helping with the dinner.
photo Joe Gamm/News Tribune Steve Johnson picks up some cupcakes from the pantry at the Holts Summit Soup Kitchen Thursday afternoon. He was among about 350 people who took advantage of the kitchens annual community Thanksgiving meal.
photo Joe Gamm/News Tribune Serena Rhodes, 5, jumps into her grandfather, James Poes, arms during the annual Holts Summit Soup Kitchen community Thanksgiving meal. Poe said he volunteers at the kitchen every Tuesday and Thursday. He gets the grandchildren to volunteer too.