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Warren Kennison has been attending the free Thursday lunches at the First United Methodist Church of Golden for 12 years — first as diner and now as a volunteer and church member. But, this past …
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Warren Kennison has been attending the free Thursday lunches at the First United Methodist Church of Golden for 12 years — first as diner and now as a volunteer and church member.
But, this past Thursday's meal was much bigger than he's ever seen before.
On Nov. 25, The Golden Mill donated about 50 servings of traditional Thanksgiving dishes for the church to serve at its weekly free lunch for those in need.
MORE: A new moment for Golden's old mill
Couple Michael McMahon and Patsy Robertson said they heard about the meal while participating in a safe-parking program at an Arvada church. In the few years the two have been homeless, this is the first time they've had a full Thanksgiving meal, Robertson said.
"We're very thankful for that,” McMahon added.
Overall, the First United Methodist Church of Golden served about 40-50 people, including food-insecure individuals, seniors wanting to socialize and church members' families.
Volunteer and church member Suzi Jennings said somewhat jokingly that half of the day's volunteers were her children and grandchildren, commenting, “I told them that if they want a Thanksgiving meal, to come to the church.”
The help was certainly needed, as The Golden Mill donated large containers of turkey, mashed potatoes, green-bean casserole, rolls and macaroni and cheese. Church members provided the pies.
Susan Ganter, who owns The Golden Mill at 1012 Ford St., said her staff stayed up several hours the night before to prep and cook all the food before delivering it to the church on Thanksgiving Day.
Ganter said Chef Jesus Silva did something similar in Denver last Thanksgiving, helping to make 2,400 meals for two organizations. After The Golden Mill opened this April, Silva wanted to do something for the Golden community, she said.
Along with helping other nonprofit partners earlier this year, Ganter said that the Thanksgiving meal arrangement with the First United Methodist Church of Golden worked out perfectly.
“We wanted to provide, and they had the need,” she continued.
Both church members and Ganter said they'd like to continue the partnership, perhaps for next Thanksgiving or future Thursday meals.
“We'd love to see it grow,” Ganter continued. “Certainly, we know there's a lot of need out there.”
Organizer and volunteer Jean Fivehouse said the church'sThursday lunch program, called Golden Community Table, serves a mix of seniors and the unsheltered. The church at 1500 Ford St. also has a safe-parking program, a weekly shower truck, haircuts, a clothing room and other resources for those in need.
Nonprofit BGOLDN and Golden Community Table had been serving sack lunches on Thursdays during the pandemic, but the church recently received permission to resume indoor meals, she said.
“We want people to know there's a place for them to come and feel welcome,” she said of hosting the weekly lunches. “And the social aspect is important too. We don't want them to feel alone.”
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