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Editorial: Dinner provides more than just food

FILE PHOTO: A sampling of the 325 people served enjoys their 2012 Thanksgiving meal at Concordia Lutheran Church. Almost 600 people received the free meal, including those delivered. (Ben Rodgers / The Sun)

Jamestown has plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, including the many volunteers, donors and participants who make the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner happen.

The 24-year tradition unites the community with a free meal of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn, dessert — and much more, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, at Concordia Lutheran Church in Jamestown.

The meal is traditionally central to the holiday of Thanksgiving, and its value to people in need should not be underestimated. Area food shelves face great demand, and there may be people at the event who would otherwise go hungry even during the festival of plenty.

However, the Community Thanksgiving Dinner has always provided more than just food.

For college students who cannot go home for the holiday, it offers a place to eat with friends.

For a person whose family has passed on or moved away, it offers a place for fellowship.

For a person who has nothing to do, it offers a chance to help others by volunteering, contributing to the community in a meaningful way.

For families tired of fussing over a complex meal, it offers a renewed focus — on thankfulness and together time rather than mere turkey.

For a person who is unable to leave the home, it offers a meal delivered by a visitor with a friendly face.

For those in poverty, it offers a chance to be on equal terms with everyone at a very large table, rich, poor and in-between.

Everyone is welcome. Everyone is wanted.

And for that, we are truly thankful.

(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)