Falmouth Community Supper off the table for this year

Community members invite each other to the 2016 Community Supper in Falmouth. Contribution / Peggy McGehee

For more than a decade, hundreds of community members have gathered at Falmouth Congregational Church each October for the annual Community Roast Turkey Supper and all the trimmings. This year, however, with the first cancellation of the dinner since 2008, the tables will remain empty.

A virtual supper was held last fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers have decided to forgo this version this year in hopes that an in-person al fresco supper can take place in the spring. or next summer, according to Nancy Lightbody, director and volunteer coordinator for the Falmouth Food Pantry.

“We have multiple plans, but they take a lot of planning because we have to get around COVID,” Lightbody said. “We discussed doing it in July and then everyone can eat together outside. Another idea was to have smaller groups in different places around Falmouth, to distribute everyone. Nothing is set in stone, it’s still under construction.

The community dinner is truly a community event. In 2019, about 750 people showed up, Lightbody said, and about 250 volunteers worked there. Organized by the Falmouth Congregational Church in conjunction with other faith communities and religious leaders in Falmouth – including Foreside Community Church, West Falmouth Baptist and Emmaus Lutheran Church – dinner is free and donations to the Falmouth Food Pantry are accepted.

Its main purpose is to bring people together “to break bread and join the fellowship,” Lightbody said, and pantry donations are just a bonus.

Pantry volunteer Peggy McGehee, who has volunteered for the supper since its inception, said attendees typically ranged from local and state officials to seniors, teens and many local families.

“One of the things I always notice at dinner is just a feeling of joy,” McGehee said. “We have all learned during this pandemic how much we enjoy being together. I have always thought that the community supper was a unique opportunity for people of all kinds, from all places, to come together. We don’t have that this year and I think it’s a big loss.

In 2019, the dinner raised more than $ 20,000 for the pantry. The Pantry has no plans to hold another fundraiser to make up for the loss of the supper donations, but Lightbody said a number of community members have always donated or donated. of their time for the pantry.

The pantry, although it’s not open to the public eight times a month because it was before the pandemic, continues to make monthly deliveries to about 300 families, Lightbody said. About 50 to 60 regular volunteers fill boxes with non-perishable food, fresh vegetables, meat, eggs and diapers and deliver them to those in need. The number of volunteers has declined during the pandemic because the hours are not as flexible, but the number of people using the pantry has remained constant, she said.

More information about the pantry, including how you can help, can be found on the city’s website.

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