Volunteers feed nearly 800 at the community thank you meal

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This year’s meal was limited to home deliveries or curbside pickup.

“Deliveries are on the rise. Of all the meals, there are nearly 600 deliveries. The rest are pickups, ”Quinn said.

Fortunately, “tons of people offered to drive,” she added.

Shelly Mahowald explains to volunteer driver Bobby Wilkins how and where to distribute 75 meals on his route. “It’s a labor intensive delivery,” she told him.Shannon Geisen / Enterprise Park Rapids

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The number of in-person volunteers has declined from last year, Quinn said. “But those who are here are working hard and doing what needs to be done, and that’s all that matters.”

After consulting with several people, Quinn said they have decided not to serve food in person in the interests of everyone’s health and safety, especially with the high number of COVID-19 cases in the count.

There was no charge for the turkey dinner with all the trimmings, but voluntary donations help offset the cost. Riverside United Methodist Church is hosting the event.

Quinn thanked Coborn’s for donating pies and cooking 45 turkeys. “They deserve a loud cry,” she said.

Bruce Gray was a first-time Thank You Meal volunteer. “We’re pretty new to the community,” he said.


Dacle Schmid volunteered on Thanksgiving Day to cook hot meals.  He was wearing a Community Thank Meal t-shirt that he estimated to be 25 years old. "They got it for me.  They said not everyone can wear pink" he said.

Dacle Schmid volunteered on Thanksgiving Day to cook hot meals. He was wearing a Community Thank Meal t-shirt that he estimated to be 25 years old. “They got it for me. They said not everyone can wear pink,” he said.Shannon Geisen / Enterprise Park Rapids

Bobby Wilkins, his wife and two boys were also new to the event. They offered to deliver meals. “We go to church here and it actually worked in our schedule to do it,” he said.

Shelly Mahowald is a long-time volunteer. This is his 25th year. She organizes drivers and delivery routes.

“The brain at work,” Quinn said of Mahowald.

This Thanksgiving, the drivers transported meals home to Nevis, Park Rapids, Osage and Menahga.

Nicole Kovar, an invasive species specialist from Minnesota DNR, brought her family’s French exchange student, Antoine Durand. They helped prepare meals.


Tim Wheeler, Shari Carlson, Jane Wheeler, and Taylor Wheeler provide 25 Thanksgiving meals for the sheriff's office staff on duty.  From left to right, Casey Delacey and Duane Korfe accept.

Tim Wheeler, Shari Carlson, Jane Wheeler and Taylor Wheeler provide 25 Thanksgiving meals for the sheriff’s office staff on duty. From left to right, Casey Delacey and Duane Korfe accept. “It’s very much appreciated,” Korfe said. The Wheelers have volunteered for the Thank You Dinner in the past, traveling to Nevis and Emmaville.Shannon Geisen / Company

Quinn said the thank you meal was “so rewarding. I don’t deserve to be thanked. I can’t think of a better way to spend my day.


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