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Burdett church will provide holiday meals ADVERTISEMENT

Burdett church will provide holiday meals

BURDETT--In the village of Burdett, you never have to be alone for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Burdett Presbyterian Church, located at 3995 Church St., will be holding a free Thanksgiving meal Thursday, Nov. 26, providing dinners not just to those who attend the event, but also making deliveries to homes in the Burdett area. The dinner will run from noon to 2 p.m. at the church.
Pastor Dick Evans said the annual dinner was started about 10 years ago by Marge Arcangeli. She said she wanted to prepare a meal for those whose kids were grown up and gone and for those in the community who would be spending the holiday alone. Evans noted the event has grown significantly since that first year, growing from dinner for 37 people to more than 200 people last year.
"I really love doing it," Arcangeli said. "It is really rewarding."
Evans added volunteers take dinners to residents of Jefferson village as well as to homes throughout the Burdett area. He said about half of the meals are deliveries, with the other 100 or so meals being eat-in or take-out meals served at the church. Evans noted they tend to average between 20 and 25 volunteers for the dinner, which has grown from the initial six or seven volunteers they had in their first year. He said they will also get volunteers from outside the area as well, adding one man came all the way from Oneonta last year in order to help out with the dinner.
The pastor said the church usually starts planning the dinner two months in advance. Preparation work begins the day before Thanksgiving, with volunteers coming in to peel the 150 pounds of potatoes they use for the feast. He added they usually get between eight to 10 turkeys, ranging in weight between 20 and 25 pounds. The church also prepares 10 to 12 gallons of gravy and around 20 dozen dinner rolls. Some 25 to 30 pies are usually baked for the holiday meal as well. Evans said the church always tends to have leftover squash and gravy, but added they tend to go through the stuffing pretty quickly. He noted they will also have two kinds of stuffing, one traditional, and another that is a cornbread apple sausage stuffing.
For more on the event, call the church at 607-546-8560.

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