Downtown Mission hosting Thanksgiving luncheon

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Turkey with all the trimmings will be served on Thanksgiving Monday at the Downtown Mission.

The mission's annual Thanksgiving luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Executive Director Ron Dunn says it's an exciting time, but there will be some differences this year given the precautions around COVID-19.

"You know the turkey with all the trimmings is of course on the menu," he continued. "The difference is we're 40 or 45 people at a time now versus a couple of hundred in one sitting so it'll go basically our regular times and just extend out until everyone's got something to eat."

Dunn says now more than ever, it's important to be there for one another.

"It's been a tough year, a couple of tough years for everybody in our community. Those experiencing homelessness specifically. I think we have some things to be thankful for, and we've got some things to work on for next year. Last year during COVID we still saw 1,100 people a day come through all of our various programs," Dunn said.

He says they're thankful to Windsor-Essex for the support of these programs and also mindful that every day is a blessing.
 
Dunn says no one should be alone on Thanksgiving, and while they're expecting big numbers, there's another COVID related change on Monday.

"We are asking folks who are not experiencing homelessness not to attend. If they need food at the door we're certainly doing that, but we're trying to keep everybody safe. And be mindful that now that we have restrictions on how many people are in at a time, we want to make sure that people who truly have no place to go are having their needs met first."

Dunn says due to restrictions and depending on the crowd they will try and get people in every 20 minutes to eat and then send them on their way, but some exceptions will be made for the elderly or people with mobility issues.