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Free holiday meals planned

Sun., Nov. 15, 2009, 2 a.m.

Nonprofits prepared for record turnouts

Several Inland Northwest organizations will once again offer free Thanksgiving meals on the actual holiday, Thursday, Nov. 26, and other nonprofits will offer the traditional meal during the days leading up to the holiday.

This year, organizers are expecting record turnouts due to the continuing recession. And all expect to see more first-timers at the free holiday meals, due to layoffs and high unemployment in the Inland Northwest.

The Salvation Army Spokane, which provides low-income families with the makings of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, will give away more than 8,000 turkeys this year, an increase of 2,000 over last year.

“We are seeing 200 new clients each month at our food bank, and this has been going on for the past year,” said Sheila Geraghty, business administrator for the nonprofit agency. “Some of the newer clients we are seeing now are coming from the working middle-class. They have to come here or their children will go without.”

The Thanksgiving meals listed here are open to the public, unless otherwise noted, and no reservations are required.

If you know of other free Thanksgiving meals, e-mail or call (509) 459-5496. An updated list will run again in the newspaper and is available online at

Spokane, Spokane Valley:

•Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant, in partnership with Pawn 1, will host Thanksgiving dinners at two locations this Tuesday (Nov. 17) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Locations: Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant, 1620 N. Monroe St. (509) 324-1995; East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone St. (509) 625-6699. Men are welcome, too.

•New Beginnings Outreach, 2524 E. Queen Ave., Thanksgiving meal Nov. 20, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., (509) 483-4567.

•VFW Post No. 1435, 212 S. David St., Spokane Valley. Thanksgiving dinner served Nov. 21, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. For post members and their guests only. (509) 535-9315.

• St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 2120 E. First Ave. Thanksgiving meal Nov. 22, 1 p.m. (509) 535-3031.

•Salvation Army, 222 E. Indiana Ave. Thanksgiving dinner items (to prepare your own meal) will be distributed Nov. 24 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Please bring: Picture identification for all adults 18 and older, plus proof of children living in the household, such as medical coupons. Adults also need proof of current address, such as utility or phone bills. (509) 325-6821.

•House of Charity, 32 W. Pacific Ave. Thanksgiving meal Nov. 24, noon to 1 p.m., prepared by the Spokane Community College Student Awareness League. (509) 624-7821.

•City Gate, 170 S. Madison St. Thanksgiving meal served Nov. 25, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (509) 455-9670.

•The Union Gospel Mission, 1224 E. Trent Ave. Thanksgiving program and turkey dinner Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. (509) 535-8510.

•The American Diabetes Association and Hugo’s on the Hill are sponsoring a free Thanksgiving Day meal at 3023 E. 29th Ave., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Transportation will be provided from three different locations near downtown Spokane with several pick-up times. For more information, call (509) 624-7478.

•VFW Post 51, 300 W. Mission. Free Thanksgiving Day dinner for all veterans, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (509) 327-9847.

•Christ Lutheran Church, 13009 E. Broadway Ave., Spokane Valley. Thanksgiving Day meal starting at 1 p.m. (509) 928-7733.

•St. Aloysius Parish, 330 E. Boone Ave. Sponsored by the parish, Gonzaga University and Sodexho Food Service, the meal will be served Thanksgiving Day, noon to 2 p.m., in Cataldo Hall, across the courtyard from the church. (509) 313-5896.

•New Beginnings Outreach Center, 2524 E. Queen Ave., Thanksgiving Day, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., (509) 483-4567.

•Central United Methodist Church, 518 W. Third Ave. Thanksgiving Day, 1 to 3 p.m. Dinner guests should enter through the back of the church. Wheelchair accessible. (509) 455-9019.

•Mid-City Concerns, 1222 W. Second Ave. Thanksgiving Day, starting at 11 a.m. (509) 456-6597.

•Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga University, 171 S. Washington St. Members of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church will prepare and serve the Thanksgiving Day meal, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (509) 313-6939.

North Idaho:

•Lake City Senior Center, 1916 Lakewood Drive, Coeur d’Alene. Thanksgiving Day, noon to 2 p.m. (208) 667-4628.

•Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road, Coeur d’Alene. Thanksgiving Day, noon to 2 p.m. (208) 765-1002.

•St. George’s Catholic Church, 2010 N. Lucas St., Post Falls. Thanksgiving Day, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (208) 773-4715.

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