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."