There’s turkey and dressing to make and turnip greens to cook and everything else that goes on a hearty Thanksgiving table.
The goings on at Family Outreach Ministries in Pell City may not sound too different from what others are preparing for this week, but there’s actually a big difference-“big” being the key word here.
This is the place that will feed hundreds, likely thousands, Thanksgiving Day, and not one penny will be made from the endeavor.
All the meals are free, and with help from lots of volunteers and friends and church members, the John Harmon family will get it done.
Harmon and his wife, Tangela, who is minister for Family Outreach Ministries, also operate their woodworking business, T&H Construction, Cabinets and Crafts on their property, along with their organic and vegetarian food service and country store.
Collectively, the Harmon’s named their food service and store “Giagatt’s Old Country Store,” and the family grows its own produce and vegetables, using organic farming methods.
The name of the operation is an acronym for “God is always good all the time.”
The ministry has been feeding people on Thanksgiving and Christmas for 19 years now and delivers the meals, offers them as take outs and also sets up a huge hot buffet inside the building for those who want to “eat in.”
This year’s menu also includes green beans and corn, along with homemade cinnamon raisin rolls for dessert.
Mrs. Harmon said she finds connections through a variety of agencies to get the word out, working with Community Action, local hospices and health care facilities and schools.
The ministry averages feeding about 1,200 to 1,500 people during each holiday, Mrs. Harmon said.
To operate the ministry and holiday food events, Mrs. Harmon said the family devotes 50 percent of the income thy make from their businesses to the ministry.
There are some donations made to support the holiday food effort, she said.
“We just want to give back to God,” Mrs. Harmon said. “We are here to build his kingdom.”
The Thanksgiving and Christmas meal programs have grown through the years, she said.
The entire family, which includes17-year-old Angel, 19-year-old Brandon and 16-year-old John, works on preparing the dinner.
Any food left over from the meals is taken to the St. Clair County jail for inmates to have.
In addition to calling with information about people who need food, anyone who would like to have a hand in the dinners and help out may call the Harmons at 205-812-4057.
Contact Laura Nation-Atchison at email@example.com.