Lots of free community dinners happen around the holidays, but the recipients don’t generally help roast the Vermont-raised bird or share family secrets for cooking sweet potatoes. This Thanksgiving, the Local Agricultural Community Exchange (LACE) in Barre is teaming up with the Salvation Army for an unusual benefit: People can pitch in by peeling potatoes and stirring up shepherd’s pie, then sit down and eat a localvore dinner gratis.
“I found out that the Salvation Army had been thinking about backing off on the Thanksgiving dinner they’d been doing, because it conflicts with their Christmas planning,” explains LACE founder Ariel Zevon. “We’d had the desire to do something like this since the [store’s] beginning.”
Working with volunteer labor and food donations — plus items they have on hand — Zevon, her staffers and a slew of volunteers will spend the day whipping up holiday fare. Dinner will be served between 4 and 6 p.m. “Hopefully we’ll get some music, and we’ll have games set up for kids,” she says.
A handful of local farms have already pledged donations, but Zevon is still seeking anything people can spare. “Because we are so seasonal, we can find a million ways to cook whatever is here and on hand,” she says. — S.P.
The Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf has begun its annual turkey drive in an effort to provide Thanksgiving dinner to at least 2700 families in the county who may otherwise go without.
Turkeys — and any other holiday food donations — may be dropped off at 228 North Winooski Avenue in Burlington. For more info, call 658-7939 or visit feedingchittenden.com.