First Methodist continues tradition of donating meals on Thanksgiving

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Lifestyle Editor

Bainbridge has a long tradition of providing Thanksgiving meals to those who are less fortunate. Ever since the 1980’s volunteers from the community have gathered at the JO Smith Building of First United Methodist Church early Thanksgiving morning to put together turkey plates and make deliveries to those who are alone or unable to prepare their own dinners.

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It all began with Mayo Livingston several years ago, when he looked around his family’s Thanksgiving table and realized not every one was as fortunate as he. He was surrounded with great food and family on Thanksgiving; but he was well aware that there were many others who were not. He vowed to do something about it, and well before Thanksgiving rolled around the next year, he started putting his plans in place and lining up helpers. 

Traditionally, Livingston has paid for all the food, turkey and all the trimmings, which has been prepared by Winn-Dixie. The pies have been donated by The Pond House and the Methodist Church takes care of the plates. The numbers of people fed and the volunteers who help have grown each year. Now, his son, Joe, aided greatly by Dana Bryant, who Joe defines as “Dad’s Thanksgiving Daughter,” take care of all the organizing. And things always seem to run smoothly. The approximately 100 or so volunteers who show up at 9 a.m. to load plates and make deliveries, are usually done by 11 a.m. They often serve as many as 350 dinner plates.

The names of the recipients often come from the Senior Center, which handles the Meals on Wheels, as well as from churches and social agencies. These names are forwarded to Livingston and Bryant., who begin collecting names around Labor Day.

Anyone wishing to help this year is invited to pop their own turkeys into an early oven, then come on down to the JO Smith Building.  Get there early, or they will be all done when you arrive.