‘I would have been alone,’ Locals celebrate first community Thanksgiving meal

Published 5:50 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

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NATCHEZ — The first Natchez Community Thanksgiving was celebrated Thursday at the Natchez Community Center at 215 Franklin St.

The idea to host a free community meal was the brainchild of Karla Brown, who operates Downtown Karla Brown Tours.

Brown began last year gathering a committee together and volunteers to help prepare hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners and goodie bags stuffed with an apple, an orange and some candy to give out at the Community Center. There were no criteria to join the Natchez Community Thanksgiving. The free meal had been open to everyone, regardless of their social and economic status, so that no one would have to spend the holiday alone.

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Brown said Friday that approximately 225 people had been served by the end of the day.

Thanks to the community meal, Natchezian Rita Tebbetts said she was able to spend the holiday with her friend Linda after she lost her husband to COVID-19 last year.

“I would have been alone,” Tebbetts said on Thanksgiving morning. “I’m so glad they did this because now I don’t have to be.”

Brown said Adams County Christian School Students helped decorate and customize the goodie bags so that no one who came would leave empty handed.

Some students even wrote messages on the bags and wished the recipient a Happy Thanksgiving.

The meal also supported local businesses, as the food for the community Thanksgiving meal had been purchased from The Markets and Hicks Chicks.

Natchez Community Thanksgiving Inc is a registered nonprofit organization.

Those who would like to contribute financially to the next community Thanksgiving meal can send donations to Natchez Community Thanksgiving Inc., P.O. Box 2265, Natchez MS 39120.

Those who want to volunteer or have questions about Natchez Community Thanksgiving can contact Brown at 907-540-0001.