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PARIS, TN: Churches reach out with Thanksgiving meal

November 23, 2016 GMT

A long-standing community tradition will provide hundreds of seniors and shut-ins a hot meal on Thanksgiving.

The annual Community Thanksgiving meal will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 313 N. Poplar St.

The meal is sponsored by the Paris-Henry County Ministerial Association and has been hosted by First Baptist for the past several years, according to the Rev. Larry Simmons, executive pastor at First Baptist.

“We usually feed about three hundred,” Simmons said. “It’s difficult to predict how much we’ll have this year.”

Preparation of the meal is supervised by Jerry Joyner, the church’s food service director, who’s assisted each year by volunteers from several different church congregations around Henry County.

“We have several volunteers from the community who are trying to express the love of Christ during the Thanksgiving holiday,” Simmons said.

In the days leading up to the holiday, sign-ups take place at different places around the county. Tickets good for one meal then are distributed.

Ticket holders can arrange for meals to be delivered, or they can call in and make a reservation to eat at the church.

“Some people come and pick it up and carry it out, and some eat inside,” Simmons said.

Many of the meals go to shut-ins or senior adults.

“After we have served all those people, then if there are people who want a meal, we’ll serve until we run out of food,” he said.