Spirit of sharing

Salvation Army of Front Royal volunteers, from left, Ann Crum, William Danh, Eleanor Chadwell and Capt. Beth Forrer pack bags on Monday morning for Thanksgiving meal deliveries they were planning on making on Tuesday. The Salvation Army also plans to host a community Thanksgiving dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Josette Keelor/Daily

As the region prepares for a Thanksgiving with friends and family, area organizations plan dinners that emphasize community.

Expecting to serve 150 to 200 meals at the Salvation Army of Front Royal from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, postponed from today, Capt. Beth Forrer said it’s a lower estimate from last year.

New to the area in June, she couldn’t say if that projection is necessarily normal.

“I don’t know what normal really is,” she said.

An additional 83 Warren County residents requested a Thanksgiving meal delivered to their homes by Salvation Army and church volunteers, who planned to make deliveries Tuesday.

Since opening in 1952, the Front Royal chapter has offered Thanksgiving meals in some form every year.

Having collected items like boxed stuffing mix, canned pumpkin and chicken broth, Forrer said she plans for this year’s dinners to continue the tradition the local Salvation Army has followed in the past.

Most items were donated by the community, the rest supplied by area food pantries like Loaves and Fishes in Front Royal.

“It’s open to everybody that walks in and wants to eat,” she said.

In Winchester, area churches have combined efforts to provide a community meal from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday for at least 500-600 diners in the fellowship hall of First Presbyterian Church, 116 S. Loudoun St., Winchester. Another 500 home delivery meals are planned.

It’s the largest community meal yet, said co-organizer Bob Cleaver, and everyone is welcome. Requests for a home delivery from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday can still be made today by calling 540-336-4580.

The Community Thanksgiving Dinner will serve residents in Winchester and the counties of Clarke and Frederick. Participating area churches include Mount Olive Methodist, Braddock Street Methodist, Market Street Methodist, Berryville Baptist, Winchester 1st Church of the Nazarene and Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church.

Area businesses like Costco and Walmart have donated supplies and Schenck Foods has donated a truck to use for storage.

“It truly is a community event,” Cleaver said. “… It’s faith community and businesses of the community giving back to the community.”

The following locations also will host Thanksgiving meals:

• At 5:30 p.m. today, Strasburg Presbyterian Church, 425 S. Holliday St., will host this year’s Strasburg Community Thanksgiving dinner. A worship service will follow at 6:30 p.m. Call 540-465-3920, by noon Wednesday, to request dinner for pickup or delivery at 5 p.m.

• From noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, the Front Royal VFW Post 1860 will host a dinner at 1847 N. Royal Ave., Front Royal. Call 540-635-8134 for information.

• From 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Our Community Place, 17 E. Johnson St., Harrisonburg, will host a dinner. Call 540-442-7727 for information.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com