‘Grateful for the opportunity to serve’
Thanks once again to the efforts of more than 200 volunteers, nearly 3,000 Thanksgiving meals were provided to individuals and families in the communities served by Western Maryland Health System.
Volunteers gathered both Friday, November 22, and Saturday, November 23, at WMHS to cook, pack and serve 2,740 dinners to both homebound and on-site guests. Meals were packed and delivered hot or frozen to area senior high-rise communities, the homebound, and food pantries.
Partner providing volunteers for the annual event included two area churches, HRDC, AHEC West, Allegany College of Maryland, Frostburg State University, three area high schools as well nearly every department across WMHS.
Being able to prepare, serve on-site or deliver a total of nearly 3,000 meals shines light on the manpower required and the goodwill generated by the dinner each holiday season. The WMHS Dietary Department went above and beyond their regular duties in helping prepare the food and getting it to those in need. Nine hundred eighty pounds of roasted turkey served as the main course. Sides included 675 pounds of mashed potatoes, 515 pounds of stuffing, 730 pounds of green beans and corn, 43 gallons of gravy and 30 pounds of cranberry sauce. The spread was topped off with 276 pumpkin pies.
Along with the planned meals, several walk-ins were served. No one hungry was turned away, which is something in which Jo Wilson, WMHS Vice President of Population Health, takes much pride. “This annual gathering of volunteers and community members is an event unlike anything else we do,” she said. “The combined efforts of WMHS employees and our many partners help to provide a hot Thanksgiving meal to those community members who might not get one otherwise. This is something so many people look forward to, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve.”
WMHS thanks the following organizations for helping to sponsor this year’s Thanksgiving outreach dinner: Allegany County HRDC, Mineral County Aging and Family Services and The Pharmacare Network.
Those WMHS employees interested in volunteering for next year’s dinner should start looking for email alerts in the fall.