Hastings Salvation Army to host annual Thanksgiving dinner

Hastings Salvation Army to host annual Thanksgiving dinner
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 11:05 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hastings Salvation Army is hosting its annual community-wide Thanksgiving dinner Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Adams County Fairgrounds.

The dinner will be “grab and go” style in order to serve as many people as possible and will include turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, a bread roll, and pumpkin pie.

“We like to do it because, one, we get a lot of restaurants and businesses involved,” said Major Dale Bradenburg of the Hastings Salvation Army. “It’s a Salvation Army event, but the plainsmen down in Juniata, they cook and prepare all the turkey, the mashed potatoes, and the food that goes along with it. Mike from Pizza Hut is here and then we have Rod from Bullseye. There’s just a whole lot of different businesses that help.”

Salvation Army officials said they view the event as a way to give back to the community.

Local business owners are also pitching in to provide meals, which officials said help offset the potential shortage of volunteers.

“This year, we need more volunteers because we don’t have our kitchen crew like we normally have,” Brandenburg said. “They’ve decided that they’re going to stay home and have family time together, which is great, which is wonderful. So, we needed more people in the kitchen than we usually had to ask for.”

Event officials emphasized that it takes a lot of people to make the annual dinner possible. Last year, they served 503 total meals, which was an all-time high.

Even with the difficulties of kitchen crew staffing, Salvation Army officials said they never wavered from having the event.

“We would still have had it,” Brandenburg said. “It just would’ve taken us longer to get the food served because there are people in this community that count on this. This is their Thanksgiving. If we didn’t have this meal, they wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving meal.”