By Leah Sander
WARSAW — The Warsaw Elks Lodge No. 802 is once again offering a Thanksgiving dinner to everyone, including those looking for a quick and easy option.
The Lodge, in conjunction with American Legion Post 49, is having the community Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 24. It’s open to anyone in the area regardless of need.
Traditionally, the meal is offered in person and at the Center Lake Pavilion. However, since the pavilion is currently under renovation and unavailable, this year’s program will be carryout only.
This marks the third consecutive year relying on carryout. Organizers changed gears two years ago to accommodate the pandemic.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., people can stop by the Legion, 301 N. Buffalo St., Warsaw, and pick up a free meal, which includes a roll, turkey, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing and a slice of pie.
People can also have meals delivered. Event organizer and Elks Exalted Ruler Roger Hughes said anyone wanting a delivery should call the Elks Lodge at (574) 267-7802 by Wednesday, Nov. 23, to schedule a delivery.
He said many of those who get food through the dinner are elderly and unable to celebrate with family.
“People get older, and they don’t have family. It gets too expensive to do themselves,” he said.
It’s been more than 40 years that the Elks has hosted the dinner, said Hughes. It began with a single member starting it, followed by the whole Lodge taking it on.
Volunteers start cooking the dinner in the Legion’s kitchen the day before, and then pack the meals and deliver them if needed on Thursday. The dinner is funded by donations, with Hughes stating they come in from individuals and both large and small businesses.
Volunteers are still welcome, with Hughes mentioning they can just call the Elks Lodge to inquire about doing so.
“It fills a real need,” he said of the dinner, adding he was “proud of what it does for our community.”