Observer staff

The Thanksgiving holiday can be a family-filled time for many. However, those who do not have family in the area or who otherwise find themselves alone or hungry can partake of a holiday meal thanks to a number of local organizations — oftentimes for free.

The following are events happening this week that offer Thanksgiving dinners.

Wallowa County

Enterprise — The annual Wallowa County Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner will be served at the Wallowa County Fairgrounds’ Cloverleaf Hall this year from 1 p.m. to
2:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Those in attendance are invited to bring a dessert or food bank donation, but neither is required.

Union County

Union — The United Methodist Church in Union will provide a Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 20. A social hour begins at 11 a.m., followed by the meal at noon. Cash donations are appreciated but not required. To-go meals are also available.

La Grande — Neighbors Together of Union County is hosting a Thanksgiving Day Dinner at the Presbyterian Friendship Center, 1204 Spring, La Grande, Thursday. The doors will open at noon, and dinner will be served at 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome. There is no charge, but freewill donations will be accepted. For more information, call 541-963-9126 or email outreach.grv@gmail.com .

La Grande — The
La Grande Rotarians will be serving seniors and military personnel for free Thanksgiving Day from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the
La Grande McDonald’s.

For nearly three decades, the La Grande Rotary Club has partnered with the restaurant to provide seniors and military personnel a fresh, hot, free Thanksgiving Day breakfast. Beau Willadsen, the owner of the La Grande McDonald’s, is proud to continue the tradition his father, Swend Willadsen, began when he owned and operated the restaurant 28 years ago. For more information regarding the La Grande Rotary Thanksgiving Day breakfast, contact Craig Nightingale at 541-663-2501.

La Grande — Union County Senior Center offers a free Thanksgiving dinner to those who are too busy to cook.

According to Sydney Gleeson, food service nutrition department manager at the senior center, the center has created a program to provide a family of four a full Thanksgiving meal.

She said the senior center is sharing this opportunity with those in Union and Elgin as well.

Service groups, including the Lions Club, as well as private donors, have contributed to paying for the meals.

“This makes a wonderful gift to those who are struggling,” Gleeson said. “It’s not a lot, but I feel like we’re contributing to the community.”

Gleeson said there is enough food for at least 50 meals, and they will also be providing meals to the people who are going to the Warming Shelter in La Grande.

“This is one of the busiest times of the year,” she said. “I see the need (for this service) now more than I have ever seen it before. Hopefully, between all the organizations giving food to the community, we can make sure everyone is fed.”

Gleeson said for anyone interested in getting a Thanksgiving meal through this program, they need to call her by Tuesday at 541-962-5851.

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