Thanksgiving dinner to be provided for homeless by local organizations and vendors - The Daily Collegian: Borough

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Thanksgiving dinner to be provided for homeless by local organizations and vendors

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 4:06 pm

When many State College residents sit down for their Thanksgiving meals tomorrow, the homeless population -- and even residents who are not financially sound -- will have the chance to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal too.

Some local organizations are providing services on Thanksgiving for those in need of them.

St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 208 W. Foster Ave., is providing a free Thanksgiving dinner as part of its weekly Community Cafe, Ron Rovansek, an organizer of Community Cafe at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, said.

The church is expecting to see about 200 people, but Rovansek said that number is an estimate. Both families and individuals make up those who come for the meal, Rovansek said. As for why the church provides weekly meals, Rovansek points to the religious foundation.

"We are a Christian church and thats what we do. We try to help people who need help," Rovansek said.

Rovansek said the Community Cafe's volunteer force on Thanksgiving will be made up of both church members as well as those who do not attend St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

Another organization working to provide State College homeless a proper meal is Centre House, Susanna Paul, development and community relations coordinator of Centre House, said.

Many of the residents of Centre House, 217 E. Nittany Ave., are able to spend the day with family or friends, but a Thanksgiving meal is possible for those who are spending the day at Centre House.

A local family donated the ingredients for a Thanksgiving meal to Centre House, Paul said. Residents will work with Centre House staff to cook their own meal, Paul said.

Paul said they do get many offers for volunteers to come help during the day, but they generally decline for the benefit of the residents.

"We want the residents to come together and take care of their home and build the community that we have there," Paul said.

But the food itself is not the only benefit the residents will receive.

"To be able to come together and enjoy each others company and relax together is a very positive experience," Paul said.

The Diner, 127 W. College Ave., will be serving a Thanksgiving diner for 50 cents, Robert Balmfort, general manager of the Diner, said.

The dinner will include all the various Thanksgiving staples such as turkey, stuffing and many pies. Much of the food is donated by vendors, Balmfort said. 

All the workers will be donating their time and all monetary proceeds and donations will be going to charity, Balmfort said. The dinner will attact anywhere from 200 to 500 people, Balmfort said.

"It's a great way to give back to the community," Balmfort said. "It's something nice to do."

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