By Anna-Marie Menhenott
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- For nearly 25 years, Mustard Seed Ministries has made sure the hungry in St. Lucie County don't go without a Thanksgiving meal.
Each year, volunteers prepare turkey dinner and serve them to the thousands of residents who depend of their services.
"Last year so many people benefitted from the Thanksgiving meal," said Lela Abbate, director of the Dream Center of the Treasure Coast. "Food is offered in two locations, one in Fort Pierce on the corner of Orange Avenue and Ninth Street and the other in Port St. Lucie on the corner of U.S. 1 and Prima Vista."
This year, meals can also be delivered to those who are unable to make it to one of the meal sites.
"We are in need of volunteers who can help deliver food on Thanksgiving Day," Ms. Abbate said. "There are lots who help serve the food at both sites, but to get a meal to those who don't have the transportation to get to a site is vital. We're hoping to get a meal to everyone who needs one across the county."
The food that is prepared by Mustard Seed is stockpiled year round and provided by nonprofit organizations, churches and the Big Heart Brigade.
"We are very fortunate to have organizations donate their time, money and food to Mustard Seed so we're able to help the community," Ms. Abbate said. "It's heartwarming to know so many people care."
Ms. Abbate said that because the turkeys are bought in bulk, as are the food that is used for the side dishes, if resident would like to make a donation, Mustard Seed is asking for gift cards which can be used for items still needed to complete the Thanksgiving meal.
"Because thousands will show up for a meal, there will be unexpected things that we will need and things that we may run out of," Ms. Abbate said. "In order to make sure everyone gets a proper meal, we are asking for the gift cards. We are able to purchase whatever is needed with those and they so wonderful to have. It's amazing what Mustard Seed is able to pull off each year and with the public's help, we'll be able to make sure they continue their good work.
Dinner will be served from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. in both locations. To ask for a meal to be delivered, call (772) 460-5414 by Nov. 22.
To volunteer or make a donation, call (772) 465-6021.