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Local church, elementary school to offer community meals

A local church and elementary school will provide free meals for the community next week.

Cumming First United Methodist will host its 17th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, and Chestatee Elementary School will hold its seventh community meal from 2-4 p.m. Tuesday.

Kristy Thompson, with CFUMC, said more than 1,000 people are expected to show up.

“There are so many folks who come … to prepare food, (and) the tables are set beautifully. The folks that come feel very much at home,” Thompson said. “We have dessert and everything from turkey and dressing to all the fixings.”

Thompson said the dinner was free and open to everyone.

“It’s open to anyone who would like to come and join a Thanksgiving dinner,” she said, adding that it’s for those who “may not necessarily have a place to go or just want to come and be a part of the celebration here. Everyone is welcome.”

She said anyone who was in need of food during other times can come by the church’s food pantry from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday. CFUMC is located at 770 Canton Highway.

Chestatee’s meal will be cooked and served by teachers and other employees at the school on their day off.

“Our faculty has come together and decided we wanted to open up the doors to our students and our community and come in and have a Thanksgiving feast with us and just celebrate each other and be able to serve our kids, our families,” said Brianna Hundt, a third-grade teacher at the school.

The school is also reaching out to some community members who cannot attend the dinner.

“We will also have donations that will go out where we have staff members that pack up Thanksgiving meals and take them to people that have requested them,” Hundt said.

Hundt said 75 people had already said they planned to attend, and meals would be delivered to 15 families.

Chestatee is located at 6945 Keith Bridge Road.