Some people in Western Montana don’t have family to celebrate the holidays with so communities like Stevensville offered up free Thanksgiving meals on Thursday, encouraging people to come together for a “family style” celebration.
New to the area herself, organizer Christy Martin looked at the idea of a community dinner in Stevensville as an opportunity to reach out to her neighbors and begin building community ties.
“This is our second year doing it. We’re also new to the valley, so we wanted to find a way to meet people and make our own family in a place where we have no family," she explained.
Once Martin announced plans for the community dinner, volunteers from Florence to Hamilton and everywhere in between came flooding in. Meanwhile, local restaurants and businesses donated enough food to serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Single parents, kids, empty nesters, senior citizens and people whp simply didn’t feel like cooking congregated at the Stevensville school cafeteria for the meal. Volunteers even packed and delivered meals for local shut-ins that couldn’t make it to the dinner.
Martin expressed her gratitude to those who helped organize the event, saying, “It’s been the whole community that’s come together to make this work. Without all of the pieces this wouldn’t happen.”