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Community Thanksgiving dinner grows every year

October 6, 2011

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching
and with it comes a time for families to
gather together and find time to enjoy
each other’s company and reflect on all
the things in life there are to be thankful
for. However, there are those in our community
who all too often find themselves
alone during the holidays. One local
man, however, has made it his mission to
provide a Thanksgiving dinner for those
who would otherwise be alone.
For the past seven years, Jim Berngen
has been serving up hot meals to his
community with The Annual Thanksgiving
Community Dinner.
“When the dinner first started seven
years ago, we served roughly 125 meals.
Last year, over 400 meals were served.”
says Berngen. The meals are traditional
Thanksgiving fare, complete with turkey
and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy,
sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, hot
rolls, cranberries, and dessert. The meals
are served every year in the Poteau High
School cafeteria on Thanksgiving Day
from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
Despite the size of the undertaking,
Berngen says that the meal is available to
the public for free.
“There is no charge for the meal,” says
Berngen, “I rely solely on the generosity
of the community to pay for the meal.”
Donations for the Annual Thanksgiving Community
Dinner can be dropped off at Arvest Bank or Community
State Bank in Poteau, or at United Medical Incorporated
on Dewey Avenue, also in Poteau. Items needed for the
meal include gravy mix, stove-top stuffing, canned
corn and green beans, canned cranberries, brown and
serve rolls, canned sweet potatoes, soda, and desserts,
including sugar-free desserts. Monetary donations are
also accepted.
For more information, or to schedule a donation
pick-up, please contact Jim Berngen at (918) 658-

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