Boxes of food sit assembled on the floor of the United Methodist Church while a large group of volunteers puts together packages for Thanksgiving meals Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. The effort is lead by the Salvation Army and the Kachemak Bay Lions Club, though volunteers and donations come from many other community groups and individuals. The packages with fixings for a Thanksgiving holiday meal go to those who apply to the program. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Boxes of food sit assembled on the floor of the United Methodist Church while a large group of volunteers puts together packages for Thanksgiving meals Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 in Homer, Alaska. The effort is lead by the Salvation Army and the Kachemak Bay Lions Club, though volunteers and donations come from many other community groups and individuals. The packages with fixings for a Thanksgiving holiday meal go to those who apply to the program. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Several churches, groups are offering free Thanksgiving meals in Homer

Sometimes pulling out all the stops for the Thanksgiving holiday is fun — having the whole family gather around the table after a day of slaving to make the traditional meal. Other times, it just doesn’t make sense to do.

When family isn’t in town, the cost of cooking a Thanksgiving meal is an issue, or you’d just rather not put in the effort this year, Homer has plenty of alternatives for the holiday meal. Residents in search of a slice of turkey can head to a number of free community Thanksgiving dinners on Nov. 23.

Dinner will be served at the United Methodist Church from 4-7 p.m. Thanksgiving day. The church usually sees around 40-60 people in terms of turnout, said David Nofziger.

The Refuge Chapel of Homer is also opening its doors this season, with a dinner starting at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Pastor Darren Williams said he’s not sure of exactly how long the chapel has been hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s somewhere in the area of 18 years.

“We’ve been doing it for a long time,” he said.

The Refuge Chapel will provide a meal of turkey and other staple Thanksgiving foods, but people are welcome to bring a dish to share if they feel so inclined, Williams said. He said the annual feast generally sees anywhere from 30-50 people.

“It’s been people from our church mixed with people that just don’t have any family and just need a place to go,” he said.

Often, Williams said people will bring a dish that represents one of their own family Thanksgiving traditions, which he said is always fun to share. After the meal, he said the chapel puts plates together from the remaining food and delivers those meals to those who can’t get out of the house on Thanksgiving.

The Anchor River Inn will host its own Thanksgiving meal from 2-6 p.m. All these meals are free of charge and open to the public.

The Homer Elks Lodge will also host a feast for veterans from 1-3 p.m.

Reach Megan Pacer at homernews.com.

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