Local churches are hosting a free community Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.

Local churches are hosting a free community Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.

What exactly is the "7th Street Feast"?
It's just what it says it is: a feast, on 7th Street!
To explain a little more: it is an annual free community Thanksgiving Dinner (that's the "feast") served in the Gym of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School (which is located at 320 N. 7th Street – at the corner of 7th and Osage Streets).

2. What are the particulars – what more do we need to know?
The feast is a full, traditional, Thanksgiving dinner – turkey, dressing … everything you'd expect, even dessert – served for anyone who needs a meal or who would just like to share in a meal with others on Thanksgiving Day. We serve from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., and everyone is welcome to come. The Gym is accessible to the handicapped by letting the greeter at the door know that you are not able to use the stairs (they'll provide you with directions to the alternate door).

3. If someone is unable to get to the Feast, is it possible to get a meal?
Yes, in either of three ways. One, we offer carry-out meals, and it would be possible for someone else to pick-up a meal for you. Two, we also offer delivery of meals for the homebound, and that can be arranged by calling 682-0336 before 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
And, third, if it is just a lack of transportation that would keep you from coming to the Feast, Veteran's Cab Company provides free rides to and from the Feast for those who call 682-7200.

4. Who prepares the meals; and, how many meals do they prepare?
When the Feast began 12 years ago, it was an outreach solely of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, and we served about 150 meals that first year.
This year, we plan to serve 1,500 meals … and we no longer do it alone! For most of our years, the Independent Missionary Baptist Church has partnered with us – as have volunteers from other churches and organizations.
But, this year, we are happy to say that a total of seven community churches are working together to make the Feast successful – St. Paul and Independent; plus: 1st United Methodist, St. Paul's Episcopal, St. Joseph & Sacred Heart Catholic; and Life Connections Ministries. We will also continue to have volunteers from many community and civic organizations.
And, we couldn't serve the Feast without them, or without the generous financial support of area businesses as well.

5. Why do you do it, what's the reason behind the 7th Street Feast?
Well, the day for the feast is obvious: it's Thanksgiving Day.
But, it's more than that.
The Feast began as an outreach of one of our St. Paul small groups that just wanted to serve others. It's a foundation of our faith – from Genesis 12:2-3 – that we are blessed by God in order that we might be a blessing to others. Further, Jesus instructs us (in Matthew 25) to be such a blessing to the least among us – in Verses 34-35, He says: "Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat …" When He was questioned as to when they had done that, Jesus replied (in Verse 40): "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me." The 7th Street Feast is just one way we can give thanks to the Lord for His many blessings to us … by sharing those blessings with others. We hope you can join us on Thanksgiving Day this year, or next year.
Learn more, at: www.facebook.com/7thstfeast.