Thanksgiving Community Meals: Free or Low-Cost Thanksgiving Community Meals (published November 2010) By Judith Lerner [For more articles by Judith Lerner, link here.


JEWISH FEDERATION OF THE BERKSHIRES at Congregation Knesset Israel; 16 Colt Road, Pittsfield; (413) 442-2200; senior Thanksgiving lunch; 12pm Thursday, Nov. 18; over 60/$2 suggested donation; under 60/$6 suggested donation; call for reservation by 9am day of lunch.

ST. STEPHEN'S TABLE 67 East Street at Allen Street; (413) 448-8276; free walk-in Thanksgiving Dinner; 5:15pm Thursday, Nov. 18.

NORTH COUNTY UNITED WAY/ ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF NORTH ADAMS (413) 664-9656; call between 11:30am & 5:30am by Friday, Nov. 19 to reserve a Thanksgiving meal delivered by volunteers; leave a message; someone will return the call.

MEALS ON WHEELS Thanksgiving lunch by reservation; Friday, Nov. 19; at congregate meal sites around the county in Adams, Becket, Cheshire, Dalton, Great Barrington, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, North Adams, Pittsfield, Providence Court Pittsfield, Stockbridge and Williamstown; times vary; $2 suggested donation; for meal site information and for phone numbers to call to make reservations check

SALVATION ARMY NORTH ADAMS 393 River St., North Adams; (413) 663-7987; a free walk-in community Thanksgiving Dinner 2pm to 4pm Saturday, Nov. 20; prepared by chef Andreas Karampastos and his family, once owners of the Taconic Restaurant in Williamstown.

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF DALTON (413) 684-0521; hosting a free walk-in community Thanksgiving dinner; 5pm Saturday, Nov. 20.

SALVATION ARMY 300 West St., Pittsfield; (413) 442-0624; free walk-in Thanksgiving Dinner Sunday, Nov. 21; Captain Scott Peabody and his wife Captain Karen Peabody and people from the church will make a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

NORTHERN BERKSHIRE FOOD PROJECT CHEFS' DINNER/COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING free Thanksgiving dinner from 5:30pm to 8:30pm on Monday, Nov. 22; at the First Congregational Church, 18 Main Street, North Adams; presented by chefs Chris Bonnivier of Gala Restaurant in Williamstown; Sandy Smith of Gramercy Bistro in North Adams; Greg Roach of Wild Oats Community Market in Williamstown; Lisa Harvey of Green River Farms Catering in Williamstown; Tim Manthei of the Williams Inn in Williamstown. "Donations are very welcome and much needed," said chef Bonnivier who "originally came up with the idea to add all the chefs to the mix" of Valerie Schwartz's longtime Northern Berkshire Food Project Thanksgiving Dinner in order to "get a bigger draw and help create the awareness," he said. "Reservations are not necessary," Bonnivier said. "We want everyone to come and create a togetherness. That's the reason for having all the chefs from popular local eateries – to get others to come out to this event. Where are you going to get a free meal from Gramercy Bistro or Williams Inn? They get it here. They can sit and break bread with everyone together and see what is happening. [They can become] aware that right here, in their back yard, is where [need] starts, not 13,000 miles away in some other country. Valerie said we definitely made a difference. The year before they only did about 175 [dinners]. Last year, which was the first year [the chefs cooked the dinner] we did 225. We are hoping for more this year as well."

BERKSHIRE SOUTH COMMUNITY CENTER 25 Crissey Road, Great Barrington; (413) 528-2810; free community Thanksgiving Dinner, but donations are accepted; by reservation; Tuesday, Nov. 23; three seatings – 4pm, 5pm and 6pm.

THE CHRISTIAN CENTER 393 Robbins Avenue at Linden St; (413) 443-2828; free walk-in Thanksgiving Dinner; 12pm to 1pm Thursday, November 25; doors open at 11:30; open until 2pm; meals delivered to elderly and shut-ins, hopefully by 12pm; call any day up to Thanksgiving day at 12pm to get a meal delivered.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LEE 25 Park Place (in park behind the town hall) (413) 243-1033/1715; free walk-in Thanksgiving Dinner; 12pm Thursday, Nov. 25; donations are appreciated but no one has to pay; "We did it last year and it was very successful," The Rev. Bill Neil said.

BERKSHIRE VEGETARIAN NETWORK VEGETARIAN LIVING at United Methodis Church of Lenox; 6 Holmes Road; vegetarian potluck; 1pm Thursday, Nov. 25; $6/person for adults; $3/person for children; reservations required; call Melissa Campbell (413) 684-0176;; each person is to bring a dish that will serve 10, clearly marked vegetarian or vegan; vegan dishes, free of all animal products, are preferable. A recipe card with ingredients is to be attached to each dish. Coffee and hot and cold water will be provided. Guests/attendees are asked to bring their own place settings and utensils. After dinner, guests may share a poem, short story or impromptu moment which expresses why they are thankful. There will be a program featuring vegetarian speaker Frank L. Hoffman, co-founder with his wife, Mary, of the Frank & Mary Hoffman Foundation.

GUTHRIE CENTER THANKSGIVING DINNER 4 Van Deusenville Road, Great Barrington; (413) 528-1955; free Thanksgiving Dinner; 1pm Thursday, Nov. 25; by reservation; hosted and catered by Samuel's Deli and the Guthrie Center; call if you need transportation arrangements.