The organizers behind Epiphany Roman Catholic Church’s annual Thanksgiving Feast broke their own record Thursday, organizing hundreds of volunteers to prepare and deliver more than 1,200 full Thanksgiving dinners.
The meals, complete with soup, turkey, the trimmings and desert, were prepared, sorted, plated out and delivered by members of the parish, located in Brick’s Herbertsville section.
Sue Hermida, who, along with her husband, Bob, organizes the entire event every year, said she believes it is the 20th anniversary – but the number isn’t as important as its growth and the number of people the church can reach each Thanksgiving Day. The church partners with Ocean County’s Meals on Wheels program and also delivers to a number of senior citizen apartment complexes and organizations such as Dottie’s House, a home for women and children who were victims of domestic violence.
“It could be a few more, but I remember up to 20,” said Hermida, as the line of dozens of vehicles outside the church stretched through the parking lot and volunteers diligently worked on an assembly-line style operation inside – cooking, dishing out food, making up plates and packing dinners in bags with colorful decorations made by the parish’s children.
Hermida said volunteers delivering meals to seniors in Brick and other local communities not only brought food, but good company, on the holiday. Some watched the parade together, and some just chatted and provided some companionship.
“So many great stories come out of this every year,” she said.