Peekskill Volunteers Donate Time, Cheer For Thanksgiving Meal

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Volunteers lined up to serve food to guests at Thursday's Thankksgiving meal at Peekskill's United Methodist Church. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Tables were decorated by volunteers and high school students. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Volunteers filled pitchers with beverages. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Connie Dyckman and Janet O'Toole helped oversee the volunteer efforts. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Dozens of volunteers took part in Thursday's event. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Volunteers in the kitchen prepared turkey for serving. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Roy Volpe helped organize the volunteers. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Bishop Michael Champion of the Peekskill Area Pastors Association greeted volunteers. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Bags of treats were prepared by volunteers for guests to take home. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Fruit was also brought out for guests. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Volunteers served the guests at Thursday's dinner. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Rev. Lee Paskind, Roy Volpe and Barry Prichep addressed volunteers before dinner was served. Photo Credit: Art Cusano
Rev. Sherri Phillips of the Peekskill United Methodist Church gave blessing before the meal. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. — In a Thanksgiving tradition, dozens of volunteers cooked up a holiday meal for city residents Thursday morning at the Peekskill United Methodist Church.

For nearly 30 years, the Peekskill Area Pastors Association has held a free Thanksgiving dinner for residents in need of a hot holiday meal.

The volunteers, numbering more than 100 this year, spent days planning and preparing the meal and gathering food and supplies from donors. The food is not only served at the church, some is also delivered to homebound residents.

"I design the routes for the various drivers, and they take the meals to those who have called in and are unable to come here," delivery volunteer Connie Dyckman said.

A total of 106 meals were delivered this year, Dyckman said, down from 146 last year. That may be because more charities are getting support this year from the public, she said.

"The community is reaching out to people this year because of the hurricane, and there's a sense of giving and a sense of caring for one another," Dyckman said.

As volunteers prepared to serve dinner, organizers Barry Prichep and Roy Volpe thanked them for donating their time and went over the serving plan. Residents look forward to the annual meal, Volpe said.

"I've bumped into our citizens and friends when they spot me on the street and they say, 'You're the guy from Thanksgiving.' They ask, 'Are we having the candied yams again? Are we having green beans?'"

Peekskill Area Pastors Association President Bishop Michael Champion, pastor of the Parroquia Católica San José in Montrose, also thanked the volunteers.

"This is an important endeavor in the community that is well known for so many years," Champion said. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart and the those of the PAPA board."

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