The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

November 23, 2012

Hundreds receive hot Thanksgiving meals from Salvation Army

OTTUMWA — The Salvation Army was a well-oiled machine Thursday morning as volunteers filled containers with hot meals, decorated tables and welcomed visitors for their annual Thanksgiving feast.

While this is only the second Thanksgiving dinner in Ottumwa for Capts. Oliver and Tabitha Knuth, the local Salvation Army has been providing the dinner since 1999. Other Ottumwa organizations provided Thanksgiving Day meals before then, including RSVP, the YMCA and St. Mary’s.

Last year, the Salvation Army served around 600 meals on Thanksgiving Day, 380 of which were through deliveries alone, Oliver Knuth said.

“We’ve already exceeded that this morning,” Knuth said before the meal began.

By 11 a.m., volunteers had already delivered 435 meals.

“Pam Ward volunteers and helps set up the routes,” Knuth said. “She said that about 56 had called in just this morning.”

Justin Belzer and his fiancee, Dana Ward, were two of the many volunteers helping to deliver hot meals around town Thursday morning. Belzer said he has helped out since he met her five years ago.

“He drives. I navigate,” Ward laughed.

Salvation Army staff make the majority of the food, with turkey provided by Hy-Vee and vegetables provided by Fareway.

“It’s amazing how everything comes together,” Knuth said. “I’m sure I couldn’t do it by myself or without our staff and volunteers. I wouldn’t even want to try.”

Knuth said the holiday is a great way for volunteers to give back to and help the community.

“For us, it’s a way to help those in need,” Knuth said. “Obviously there’s a need in the community. With the economy the way it is, until it starts to improve, I see our numbers going up and up.”

The free Thanksgiving dinner is open to anyone and everyone, Knuth said.

“It’s great for coming down and enjoying company and fellowship,” he said.

Toby Mitchell, the Ottumwa Community School District’s truant officer, has been volunteering at Salvation Army for the past 11 years.

“My parents are missionaries in Paraguay, so that’s how I started doing Thanksgiving here,” Mitchell said.

She said the Salvation Army’s dinner has become much more streamlined and organized over the years.

“They have an assembly line system and more and more volunteers every year to help with deliveries,” she said.

This year, the Salvation Army even expanded its deliveries to Eldon, Agency and Eddyville.

And people donated more than 400 desserts for the deliveries, including pies, cakes, cookies and brownies, as well as 100 for those who made the trip to the center.

This was Rachel Morgan’s first year volunteering at the center.

“I heard about it on the radio yesterday and thought it would be something nice to do,” Morgan, an Indian Hills student from Fairfield, said. “There are a lot of people we don’t know about who don’t have family or who can’t afford a nice meal. It’s good to know someone is thinking about them on a day like today.”

Morgan said she definitely plans to continue volunteering during next year’s holiday season since the Salvation Army staff and volunteers threw her right into the mix.

“It was great and the people here are very welcoming,” she said.

Another volunteer said the number of volunteers who turn out for the effort is rewarding for the city of Ottumwa. She said it would be nice if people showed this sense of giving all year long.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Carolyn Staub, a volunteer. “There are a lot of people alone on Thanksgiving.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carrying bookbags a balancing act OTTUMWA — Permission slips. Notes from teachers. School activity announcements, birthday invitations, report cards and homework to sign. Kids bring home a lot of stuff. But is it done fairly? The school board this week was asked by ranking members of

    April 16, 2014

  • Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard bw cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Van Buren to share FFA with Harmony KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren Community School Board approved a recommendation from its administration to share the ag program with Harmony for the 2014-15 school year. The decision means that Van Buren students would travel to Harmony to receive ag instruct

    April 16, 2014

  • Attorney withdraws after client disappears OTTUMWA — Authorities are still looking for an Ottumwa man who didn’t show up for court proceedings. When they find him, he’ll need a new attorney. Jacob Nordyke faces charges of interference with official acts and possession of drug paraphernalia. H

    April 16, 2014

  • Waste Management wants to stay in Keosauqua KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management told the city of Keosauqua that it was not interested in ending the contract it has for solid waste and recycling services it provides to the city. A representative told the city mayor that it intends to fulfill the contr

    April 16, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition