Thanksgiving-dinner event feeds hundreds in Germantown
November 19, 2012By Kiera Smalls for NewsWorks
"We didn't want to just give out turkeys this year and send people on their way. We wanted this to be more personal with a warm sense of togetherness."
-- Stephen Kinsey, state representative elect, 201st District
Shantale Jefferson and her three children traveled to Germantown from North Philly to get a warm Thanksgiving meal on Saturday.
As the first person in line, Jefferson waited for nearly an hour for the "Feeding 1000" event. There, Jefferson said she heard about this event through a non-profit program called "People for People," which provides services to families in need.
The event was held at the Holsey Temple C.M.E Church which has provided weekly meals to the community for more than 25 years, according to Rev. Alfred Jones Jr., associate pastor at the church located on Germantown Ave. near Penn St.
The Jeffersons' fellow attendees said heard about the event through flyers and word-of-mouth from their neighbors, schools or other churches.
With a goal of feeding 1,000 people, the event ended up serving an estimated 400, including a delivery of 150 platters to different residents and senior homes in the area.
"We didn't want to just give out turkeys this year and send people on their way," said incoming state Rep. Stephen Kinsey, an event co-sponsor. "We wanted this to be more personal with a warm sense of togetherness."
Recipients and volunteers react
Preparing a buffet which included chicken, turkey, greens, sweet potatoes, rice, stuffing and desserts were students with Imhotep Institute Charter High School's culinary program, along with former director Dana Garnett.
Guests quickly filled their plates and sat down at tables to enjoy conversations with others. Some saw it as a sign of a positive direction in which Germantown is heading.
"This is big for Germantown," said A.C. Chambers. "Around this time, it's usually free dinners all the way down Center City, so for it to be right in my neighborhood is very nice."
Julisa Stadles concurred.
"I've lived her for over 20 years," she said, "and stuff like this makes me very proud to live here."
Along with Kinsey's office, which will host educational and financial workshops after he takes office, the event was sponsored by Treasures LLC, Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass' office, Germantown Restoration, Fresh Grocer, Imhotep, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and others.