Utica, N.Y. - All is fairly quiet in the dining room at the Rescue Mission of Utica on this Sunday morning. Workers are preparing for the daily Community Lunch which is to-go only, and it will be the same story on Thanksgiving this year.
Rescue Mission of Utica Executive Director Wendy Goetz says this year's Thanksgiving will be COVID-style, "We'll just use our dining room a different way. We'll just set it up to prepackage meals versus to serve people waitress style, so it’ll just be set up differently. We’re going to be doing curbside to-go. So if someone wants a meal, you can walk up or drive up between 11:30 A.M. and 1:00 P.M., where prior years people came in here and had their meal and there was a real sense of community, so we'll miss that a little bit, but we'll make adjustments."
Goetz says this year, if you have a friend or relative that you know is usually by themselves on the holidays and may rely on a community gathering for someone to talk to, like at the Mission's Thanksgiving Dinner, they will not get that this year because the meals are to-go only, so it very important to make even more of an effort to reach out to them.
Goetz says if you are one of the people who will be alone after picking up a meal and need someone to talk to, don't be afraid to speak up, "Keep the faith, you've got a reach out to your friends and family and the people that are always there, by phone or a one on one visit."
If you can't make it to the Mission for whatever reason and would like a meal delivered to your home on Thanksgiving, you can call the Rescue Mission of Utica at 315-735-1645, ext. 2100, Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you are looking to help this year, Goetz says the Mission will really be able to use some store made fruit pies and stuffing mix for the meals, so if people want to donate them the week of Thanksgiving that would be much appreciated.
Goetz says the Mission is also looking for volunteers to deliver meals on Thanksgiving Day.
If you would like to volunteer or even provide a monetary donation to the cause, you can call the Rescue Mission of Utica at 315-735-1645, ext. 2100, also Monday through Friday during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.