Washington community members to serve free Thanksgiving meals

Published 9:00 am Sunday, November 19, 2023

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By Ellen Brabo, For Washington Daily News

 In the spirit of giving and community support, Washington businesses are teaming up with Ignite Church to ensure 100 free Thanksgiving meals reach the Washington Community on Thursday, November 23, 2023. This initiative, spearheaded by Leesa Jones, Executive Director of the Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum, comes as a continuation of a tradition that was previously upheld by Captain Cook’s, a local restaurant that has since closed its doors.

 In memory of her late daughter, Terri Michelle Gracy-Udoh, who passed away in 2017, Jones and her husband have been dedicated supporters of providing Thanksgiving meals to those in need. This year, when Jones noticed the tradition was at risk of fading away, she took to Facebook to rally support. The call was answered by Jared Mosley, Community Pastor at Ignite Church. Having worked together previously at a local radio station, Mosley reached out immediately, connecting Ignite Church’s resources with Jones’ passion for the cause.

 Ignite Church had initially planned to prepare 250 meals, with 100 of them designated for Meals on Wheels. However, logistical challenges led to a change in plans, leaving 100 ready-to-go meals available for donation. The collaboration between Jones and Ignite Church became the perfect solution, ensuring that these meals would reach those in the Washington Community who could benefit most.

 The Thanksgiving meals, including the traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings — from mashed potatoes and mac n’ cheese to stuffing and sweet potato pie — will be prepared in Greenville by a member of the Ignite Outreach Team, who is a professional caterer. Cooking will commence at 5 a.m., and the meals will be transported to Washington by 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

 The Thanksgiving meals will be served at The Washington Cafe located at 126 North Market Street in Washington, NC, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The location offers the option for individuals to sit down and enjoy their meal together if they choose.

 For those interested in volunteering, Mosley welcomes assistance, especially with the transportation of meals from Greenville to Washington. Interested volunteers can contact Mosley at jared.mosley@ignitechurch.com. Those interested in helping distribute meals or individuals who are unable to travel to the location but would like a meal delivered should contact Jones at (252) 833-0995.

 Additionally, Mt. Hebron Church will host its 2nd annual free Thanksgiving meal on the same day, extending an open invitation to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event, located at 210 W 6th Street in Washington, NC, welcomes individuals to either sit down and enjoy their meal or take a plate to go. Mt. Hebron Church is prepared to serve between 75 to 100 individuals.