Photo by Charity Maness/Fall River County Herald-Star
The golden hearts behind the Community Thanksgiving Feast: Tanya Daunt (Hot Springs Ministerial Assoc), Kay Birkholt (Hot Spring Food Pantry), Carol Harvey (American Legion Auxiliary), Ruby McNair and her daughter Lydia (Meals on Wheels).
By Charity Maness
HOT SPRINGS – Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, a time to share with others your bounty, be it from your home, your kitchen or your heart. The communities of Fall River have embraced their giving nature and are offering free and low cost community thanksgiving feasts.
Edgemont Baptist Church, located at 1107 C Street, will be hosting their Thanksgiving feast following their service on Sunday, Nov. 22.
“We would love for the community to join us,” said Pastor Todd Olson. Service begins at 11a.m. and the feast will follow the service at approximately 12 noon.
Hot Springs organizations, churches and businesses alike will be warming the hearts and tummies of the community.
The American Legion, Meals on Wheels, Senior Center, Hot Springs Ministerial Association and Hot Springs Food Pantry have all come together to provide a drive through meal at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“When we realized the American Legion would not be having the annual Thanksgiving feast, I think a light bulb went off at the same time in Ruby McNair’s (Meals on Wheels), Carol Harvey’s (American Legion Auxiliary) and my head,” said co- coordinator Kay Birkholt (Hot Springs Food Pantry). “The legion serves at least 500 meals and without them we knew there would be a huge gap that we weren’t sure how to fill.” With their heads together the three brainstormed, pooling their resources and came up with a drive thru Thanksgiving Feast idea.
This idea was brilliant, however they had yet to figure out just how to implement their plan.
With the bridge closed and the senior center at the ready to respond to Covid closures, Birkholt approached Father Gerlach at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. He welcomed the idea with open arms.
Soon the local Ministerial Association was on board and filling in any gaps, including ensuring that their parishioners who cannot travel will receive a home cooked feast.
“It’s so wonderful,” said Birkholt, “everybody coming together to help the community. This time of year with the issues at hand, it is such a challenge for people who may not be able to see their families, or using caution with gatherings, we knew we just didn’t want to not have it when there are so many people in need; not only of food, but of friendship.”
Those wishing to enjoy this meal are asked to start the line-up at the Wells Fargo Bank and follow the directions given by the American Legion members. This is a no cost meal but donations are accepted at the location and can also be mailed to HSMA, PO Box 73, Hot Springs, SD 57747.
Pies and volunteers are still needed for this event. Pies can be dropped off at St. Anthony’s Wednesday, Nov. 25 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. To volunteer, call Hot Springs Food Pantry at 605-891-5030. And while this is a drive through meal, it has not gone unnoticed that many local residents are simply not able to make such a trip so the group has included in their plans meals for the residents at the Evans and Brookside.
Chicago Street Café, located at 138 S. Chicago Street (Willie Jax Pawn Shop) will open their doors to the community for a ‘pay what you can’ homemade feast Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. “or until the food runs out,” said owner Jackie Stanley. “We are excited to give back to the community that has supported us and help those in need as well as be a family to those without.”