PORT ANGELES — An estimated 70 people sat down to an indoor hot turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Eve at the Salvation Army Community Center in Port Angeles.
The free community meal was the only Thanksgiving-style public feast hosted on the North Olympic Peninsula this year as a sit-down dinner.
The attendance was the “smallest we’ve had in forever,” Major Ron Wehnau said.
“We were serving double portions, so it works out to 140 meals,” for a mixture of people from usual clients of the daily meals served by the organization to “folks looking for a time of being with others,” he added.
COVID-19 precautions were taken, Major Barbara Wehnau said.
Seating was arranged with five chairs per table to facilitate social distancing, shields were up at the counters and masks were required when not sitting at tables.
The aim for the Salvation Army, which canceled the traditional day-before-Thanksgiving meal in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is to ease back into indoor meals after having handed out meals through the front door since the pandemic began.
The cooks did “an exceptional job,” Wehnau said Wednesday.
“This has been a year and a half of nothing normal, nothing feeling quite right,” he said.
“It felt good to have folks welcomed into our building, enjoying the warmth, enjoying being with each other.”
Meals set today
In Chimacum, free curbside Thanksgiving meals can be picked up from noon to 2 p.m. today at the Tri-Area Community Center, 10 West Valley Road, in Chimacum. Meals must be reserved by calling 360-379-4228.
Brinnon residents who cannot make it to Chimacum can arrange to pick up their meals at the Brinnon Community Center, 306144 U.S. Highway 101, Brinnon.
They must reserve meals at the Tri-Area Community Center, then call the Brinnon Community Center at 360-796-4350 to arrange pickup.
In Sequim, Hardy’s Market in Sequim will offer free traditional Thanksgiving meals while supplies last beginning at 11 a.m. today at the market, 10200 Old Olympic Highway.
Meals will be carry-out only.
Event organizers request that no one come early.
For more information, call 360-582-0240.