Giving Thanks: Community celebrates Thanksgiving

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By Jessica Singleton

This week will be filled with food, family and football. The smell of roasted turkey will infiltrate our homes as families gather around the dinner table to give thanks.

Monterey Baptist Church celebrated early with a community Thanksgiving meal Saturday. Pastor Tony Watkins said the church has the dinner every year. He said these holiday dinners have become incredibly successful. They had so many people attend their Halloween party that they ran out of food.

Thanksgiving is celebrated every year at Mrs. New’s kindergarden class. The students all bring dishes and the kids enjoy the meal dressed as pilgrims.

The rough economy is causing some families to rethink how they celebrate this holiday. News of government bailouts and a quickly disappearing job market has caused people to make cuts in their spending habits.

Rod Foresee, owner of Meadowview, said people are not buying extra food at the grocery store check out line. Instead, shoppers are sticking to basics like bread and milk. He said shoppers are using more credit cards and less cash, essentially financing their Thanksgiving meal.

Becky Tabor, assistant manager of Save-A-Lot, agreed that customers are looking for the basics in a Thanksgiving meal and skipping over the extras. She said the amount of people going through the check out line is improving as gas prices continue to drop.

Tammy Bishop, manager of Saveway, said people are still buying the basics but are passing on the more expensive items for their Thanksgiving meal.

People are determined to share in a traditional meal, even if it has to be simplified. The tough economy is pushing some families to turn to the government for help. Brian Minch with the Department of Family and Children said the need for assistance always increases during the holidays, but requests for help are about the same as last year. “November and December are always our busiest time of the year,” he said.