Warren volunteers spread Thanksgiving joy

Warren volunteers spread Thanksgiving joy

Volunteers at St. Thomas the Apostle prepare meals last Thanksgiving . Many of them will be back at the church Christmas morning.

tday1An army of volunteers converged on the St. Thomas the Apostle church basement Thursday morning, giving up part of their own Thanksgiving to make the holiday better for those in need.

The volunteers, more than 100 of them, prepared and bagged nearly 250 full turkey dinners for delivery to needy families and shut-ins across the East Bay and beyond. Hundreds went to Barrington, Bristol, Warren and East Providence, and many more went further. Fifty-one dinners went to Central Falls.

“A lot of dinners this year,” said Judy Fardig, who helps organize the yearly dinner drive as president of Warren Unit 11, American Legion. “There’s a lot of need.”

This year, American Legion volunteers were assisted by members of American Legion Post #104 of Warren, the Warren Association of Vietnam Veterans, and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association/Rhode Island Chapter.

“We have been delivering and serving more and meals meals in each of the past few years, probably because of the economy. Now, with the food stamp cuts, things out there are even worse,” Ms. Fardig said.

tday2Just after 11 a.m., the church basement was bustling with more than 100 volunteers. Some worked the turkey station, others handed out large aluminum travel trays and others set up hundreds of brown paper bags. Outside, a steady stream of cars came in, loaded up and left, all driven by volunteers.

“We do this every year,” said volunteer Darcy DaCosta. “And Christmas too.”