Feeding the community on Thanksgiving

The community has put together a few events to bring a little Thanksgiving magic to those in need.

Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate with family, friends and a plate full of food, but holidays might look different for some community members who are lonely or unable to afford a traditional meal. With this in mind, the community has put together a few events to bring a little Thanksgiving magic to those in need.

In Langley, food bank Good Cheer has turkeys available all month for people in need, but is closed on Thanksgiving Day. Visitors can also get 10 extra points.

Mobile Turkey Unit will deliver cooked turkey with all the fixings to residents in Clinton, Langley, Freeland, Greenbank and Coupeville on Thanksgiving. People can apply for a meal through mobileturkeyunit.com or by calling Gwendine Norton, one of the organizers, at 360-321-9782.

In Coupeville, Gifts from the Heart is distributing food to clients who drive to their location at 203 North Main St. Applicants can choose between a frozen turkey or a frozen chicken, and may receive non-perishable food and produce. Registered food bank clients can pick up their meal on Wednesday, Nov. 22 between 2 and 5 p.m.

For the second consecutive year, Coupeville’s Thanksgiving community potluck is back after a break caused by the pandemic. The event is organized by Lisa Bernhardt, who is also the director of the Pacific Northwest Art School.

The potluck is a buffet-style event where people bring their own plates, utensils and a dish to share. People are welcome to donate cooked turkeys and hams — to be dropped off by 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving. Volunteers will take care of washing dishes and guests can bring home leftovers.

The event is for the Coupeville community only due to its location’s limited capacity, but it requires no prior registration. Bernhardt said she hopes for 100-150 people to come and enjoy Thanksgiving together.

The potluck will take place at the Coupeville Rec Hall, 901 Northwest Alexander St. between noon and 2:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving. For any questions, reach out to Lisa Bernhardt at 360-421-8736.

In Oak Harbor, Orlando’s Southern BBQ is hosting its first Community Thanksgiving Dinner between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, free of charge to guests. This was made possible by business owners and community leaders who have made donations for the event.

Better Homes and Gardens McKenzie Realty is collaborating with the Whidbey Help House to deliver food to people who don’t have the financial means to buy a Thanksgiving meal.

Each donation includes turkey stuffing, canned sweet potatoes and/or canned yam, canned cranberry, chicken broth, evaporated milk, a can of pumpkin pie filling, margarine, celery, bags of candy, hot chocolate, cake mix, flour and sugar.

Donors who choose for their food to be picked up at their house on Saturday, Nov. 18, can only donate non-perishable foods. The pick-up option is only available for residents living in the Fairway and Fireside neighborhoods in Oak Harbor, who can call the business Friday, Nov. 18, and request for their donation to be picked up the following day.

Those who drop off the food at the North Whidbey Help House — located at 1091 SE Hathaway St. — can donate perishable foods Monday and Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The deadline to register to receive a Thanksgiving food basket was Nov. 10, but people who wish to be put on a waitlist to receive a meal can register at the Help House before Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. and must bring an ID. For questions, people can call the Help House during business hours at 360-675-0681.

A previous version of this story mistakenly reported that the Coupeville community potluck would accept frozen donations the day of thanksgiving. In actuality, volunteers accept cooked turkeys and hams. Furthermore, the event ends at 2:30 p.m., not at 3:30 as previously reported. We regret the errors.