Karen Murray poses with two of the many turkeys that will be served on Thanksgiving Day. Bob Beckstead/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — A lot of turkey will be flying out the door of the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on Thursday.

That’s because Karen Murray is unable to participate in a Thanksgiving celebration with her family because of COVID-19, so she wants to make sure others in Massena who might not otherwise have a turkey dinner receive one.

“I knew there would be a need for it,” she said.

The need keeps rising.

Ms. Murray had put out a call on Facebook, explaining her situation and her plan to make turkey dinners for others. As of Saturday night, her post had 48 shares.

“I’m thinking 300 (dinners),” she said, attributing it to word of mouth. “It has to be Facebook. I see a lot of shares on it.”

She’s among the volunteers who have provided free community meals at First United Methodist Church, so she’s accustomed to cooking for large groups of people.

“I love to cook. I can give back to the community,” she said.

In addition to requests for turkey dinner, Ms. Murray has also been receiving donations for the turkeys, and the oven in the First Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall has been busy.

“I can cook five at a time in the oven,” she said. “I thank First United Methodist Church for allowing us to do it out of the building.”

The meal will include turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, dressing, squash, homemade rolls and pumpkin pie.

Ms. Murray said she plans to make meals for essential workers like police officers and hospital staff. She’s also open to more requests for meals, even if it means heading back to the store to purchase more food.

“We’re going to cook for as many people that may need it,” she said.

Anyone who needs a meal can call the church at 315-769-8036 and leave a message, up to the day before Thanksgiving.

Drive-thru pickup for the take-out dinners will be between 3 and 6 p.m. Thursday at the church. As with the community meal program, individuals will drive up and have their meal brought to their vehicle.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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