Now in it's eighth year, volunteers at St. Anthony's Thanksgiving feast in Camdenton hope to serve more people than ever before

For eight years now, members of St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Camdenton have hosted a Thanksgiving feast for those who may not have anyone to spend the holiday with or those who are in need of warm meal. It has become a tradition for the church members to open the doors of the parish on Thanksgiving to host a true community event.

"We just feel like it is a need," Peggy Johnson, volunteer and member St. Anthony Catholic Church, said. "We get so much from the community that we are so willing to give back."

Over the years, the dinner has grown. In 2006 when the event began, the church served 158 people. Last year, 340 people were served. All the trimmings from the turkey down to the pumpkin pie will be served.

The event is about more than just a meal. It's about people sharing the holiday and the fellowship that takes place.

Johnson is quick to point out that the dinner is free to anyone. Those that cannot afford a Thanksgiving meal, those that do not want to eat alone or families who simply want to interact with their community are all welcome.

"It is fun to see a lot of people there — people that wouldn't have a Thanksgiving dinner," Johnson added.

If residents cannot make it to the dinner due to transportation or mobility restrictions, meals can be delivered.

Johnson hopes that the event continues to grow.

"We just want to share what we have with the community," she said. "I just want everyone to have a happy Thanksgiving."

Any leftovers are donated to local shelters and non-profit organizations.

If you go...

What: Caring and Sharing Dinner

When: Thanksgiving Day

Time: 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Where: St. Anthony Catholic Church located on North Business Route 5 in Camdenton

To volunteer, donate or schedule a delivery, call 573-346-2716.