Friendsgiving meal preparation

Organizer Jeremiah Otis, in a plaid shirt, oversees a crew filling trays for the seventh annual Friendsgiving Meal. Volunteers prepared 1,300 meals Tuesday in the kitchen of Auburn First United Methodist Church.

AUBURN — A crew of volunteers spent Tuesday cooking and assembling 1,300 trays of food for the annual Friendsgiving meal.

The meals will be distributed today and Thursday, depending on the location, in Ashley, Auburn, Butler, Garrett and Waterloo. (See the list at the end of this story for details.)

The free Thanksgiving meal is returning for its seventh year — at 4-5 times its previous size, thanks to generous donations.

The project needed a place large enough to prepare 1,300 meals, and First United Methodist Church of Auburn offered the use of its kitchen and volunteered to be a distribution point.

Organizer Jeremiah Otis’s team of chefs carved 35 turkeys, sliced hams and prepared 500 pounds of mashed potatoes, 350 pounds of corn, 84 pounds of stuffing, plus desserts, rolls and gravy.

The meal always has been free of charge to anyone who shows up, with no questions asked.

The total cost of the project is around $4,000, Otis said. Contributions may be mailed to the Auburn Church of the Nazarene, 2301 N. Main St., Auburn, IN 46706. Checks can be made payable to Auburn Church of the Nazarene and need to say “FriendsGiving 2020” in the memo line.

Approximately 40 meals will be delivered to people at their homes, with about half of those going to people who are confined due to COVID-19, Otis said.

Other meals will be handed to people in their vehicles at these sites and times:

Wednesday

Lighthouse Montessori Education Center, 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m., Ashley Community Center, 500 S. Gonser St., Ashley

• Butler Church of Christ, 3-5 p.m., 173 W. Oak St., Butler

• JAM Center, 5-7 p.m., 1200 E. Houston St., Garrett

Thursday

• Jeremiah’s, 10 a.m. to noon, 101 E. 9th St., Auburn

• First United Methodist Church, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1203 E. 7th St., Auburn

• Warm A Heart Community Outreach, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 100 W. Railroad St., Waterloo

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