Traditionally, the Centennial Rotary club hosts a free Thanksgiving dinner at the YMCA for older adults, people in need and individuals and families who have limited access to a Thanksgiving meal. In light of current restrictions, this year’s meal will shift to delivery and pickup only (no in-person dining at the YMCA). Delivery and pick-up will be at the main doors of the Timberlake Lodge.

“We are incredibly grateful to partner with ElderCircle, the Itasca County YMCA and Timberlake Lodge to continue this holiday tradition,” said Keith Polister, Centennial Rotarian. “We are preparing to serve 200-300 meals to many who may be experiencing hardship or do not have access to a meal. It is important to us to be able to reach those in need.”

The meals will be prepared by Timberlake Lodge. Centennial Rotarians and community volunteers will deliver the meals and coordinate curb-side pick-up at Timberlake Lodge. Delivery will be available in Grand Rapids and surrounding areas. There will be no in person dining this year due to the pandemic.

Registration for this free Thanksgiving meal is now open by contacting the Itasca County YMCA at 218-327-1161 or email membership@ymcaitasca.org. Orders must specify delivery or pick-up and state the names of the people receiving the meals. Registration must be made on or before Tuesday, November 24. Meals will be available for delivery and pick up on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 26, from 3:00-4:00 pm. Funding for this project is made possible through the Blandin Foundation, Centennial Rotary Club, and ElderCircle provided in part by the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging as part of the Federal Older Americans Act CARES funding.

“We’re excited to have created an alternative way to still make this Thanksgiving meal available to the community,” stated ElderCircle Executive Director Renee Bymark. “And we’re seeking volunteers who may want to celebrate Thanksgiving by helping others.” If you’d like to volunteer to deliver meals, contact ElderCircle at 218-999-9233 ext. 279 or email ecircle@eldercircle.org to volunteer. Volunteers will be asked to meet at the Timberlake at 2:30pm for instructions.

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