MOREHEAD CITY — County families struggling with the rising cost of food will have a place to come for a free Thanksgiving meal Nov. 23.
Hope Mission of Carteret County Inc., a nonprofit Christian ministry that operates a community kitchen at 1410 Bridges St., will be open to serve turkey and all the trimmings from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
Meals will be served in the dining room, according to Mike Horne, mission director.
“I am especially glad we can serve a Thanksgiving meal to the homeless,” he said. “We usually give out plates so they can take one home with them, too.”
Robert Gordon, 74, is among the homeless who plans to get a meal Thanksgiving Day.
“I think it’s a really nice thing they are doing,” he said.
Horne said he’s seen an increase in people coming to Hope Mission, not only for food, but with other needs.
“They’re needing help with rent, electric bills, water bills,” he said. “And lately we’ve seen an increase in people needing help with shelter. That normally picks up this time of year.”
According to a press release from Hope Mission, the nonprofit has served 43,143 meals to residents in need from Jan. 1 – Oct. 31. That compares to 37,675 at the same time last year. That represents a 14.5% increase in meals served.
Volunteers from St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Salter Path will cook and serve the Thanksgiving dinner, and Horne said he was grateful for the help.
Hope Mission volunteer Bill Woolard, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Morehead City, said this is the second year he has served with the soup kitchen, and he found it very rewarding.
“I enjoy making these hungry people happy and giving them a meal,” he said. “For some, this may be the only meal of the day they get.”
Volunteer John Satterfield, also from First Presbyterian Church, agreed it was a rewarding experience.
“I like to give back to the community, and I enjoy the fellowship,” he said.
Hope Mission is a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry serving disadvantaged persons of Carteret County through food, clothing, financial assistance, recovery from substance abuse, shelter for homeless, compassion, prayer and other means of support. The mission of Hope Mission is to address the needs of poverty, homelessness and substance abuse in Carteret County.
The mission is largely financed by donations from individuals, businesses, civic groups and churches. Since 1991, the mission’s soup kitchen has fed the hungry thanks to support from the community.
Food can be donated to the soup kitchen at 1410 Bridges St., Morehead City. Financial donations can be made online at hopemissionnc.org/donate or mailed to 1209 Arendell St., Morehead City, N.C. 28557.