OBITUARIES: Decatur | Shoals | Huntsville
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Local groups, businesses to serve free Thanksgiving meals
By Lucy Berry
The Decatur Daily

Providing a free Thanksgiving meal was part of the business plan when Our Place Bar and Grill opened four years ago in Decatur.

Kitchen manager Tina Blankenship said the restaurant and bar will serve its annual free Thanksgiving lunch, complete with turkey, dressing and giblet gravy, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday to local residents.

“Times are tough, and this is one way we can give back, support our community and offer people who don’t have a place to go somewhere to come out and enjoy our friendship,” she said. “We want to show people that just because we’re a bar that we’re not just alcohol — we’re family oriented.”

The Vietnam Veterans of America on Elm Street in Athens plans to serve a free community Thanksgiving lunch.

Anyone is welcome to attend. Delivery is restricted to Limestone County residents who are unable to leave their homes.

More than 200 meals were served last year and 200 more meals were delivered to home-bound residents.

Volunteer Roxanne Haggermaker said a Vietnam veteran from south Huntsville traveled to the facility for the free meal because he didn’t have family to share the holiday with last year.

“He said he knew right then when he heard about the meal that he’d be welcome here,” she said. “That’s what it’s all about — making sure you can give to people who don’t have a lot.”

Office manager Susan Bennich said First Baptist Church of Hartselle will host its first free Thanksgiving dinner to Hartselle residents Wednesday.

She anticipates at least 150 attendees for the meal and fellowship.

“We’re just trying to find a new way to reach out to people and let them know we care and that we’re here,” she said. “A lot of people out there don’t have any family or food.”

Food donations and volunteers are needed at churches and organizations to serve Thanksgiving meals to residents in Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone counties.

Let’s eat!

Businesses and organizations providing free Thanksgiving meals this week:

  • First Baptist Church, Hartsell: 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, 256-773-5500

  • Our Place Bar and Grill, Decatur: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, 256-308-1045

  • Vietnam Veterans of America, Athens: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, 256-374-2073

  • The Salvation Army, Decatur: regular meal times, Thursday, 256-353-2822

  • Austinville United Methodist Church, Decatur: 11:30 a.m. Thursday, 256-355-3440

To submit a Thanksgiving meal event, call 256-340-2433 or email

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