Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with family, food and fellowship for many Americans, but being so close to Christmastime, it can also strain the budget to celebrate.
"Everybody tries to go all out for Thanksgiving and we're just trying to keep them from digging a hole that they can't pull through this time of year," said Becky Cornwell, administrator for Marshall County Caring Needline. "Because utility bills are higher and you've got all these holidays coming up on you."
Needline and Marcella's Kitchen are at work again this year to help provide Thanksgiving meals to those who need them in Benton and Marshall County. Needline plans to keep distributing Thanksgiving baskets through Wednesday, while Marcella's will hold its annual meal.
"It's just a variety of items that are included in their basket, trying to make a Thanksgiving meal a little easier," Cornwell said.
The food bank distributed 781 baskets last year.
Anyone interested in a basket may contact Needline, located at 307 Main St., to find out what they need to do to apply. Its hours are 9 a.m.-noon Wednesday through Friday and can be reached at 270-527-0024. Volunteers are needed.
"We go from Thanksgiving right into the Christmas season working with children for toys and stuff," Cornwell added. "We honor our seniors and shut-ins at Christmas and do gift bags filled full with goodies for them."
Meanwhile, Marcella's Thanksgiving Day dinner is scheduled for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday at its new location, 868 Guy Mathis Dr. Founder, Marcella Perkins, expects 200 people or more to attend.
"We have a donation box if they want to come and have a Thanksgiving meal, they can donate to that, or if they want to just come and they can't financially donate, that's fine too," Perkins said. "We don't ask any questions."
Perkins said donations are used for its ministry, cooking and serving. Its current location opened in May and features a commercial kitchen, allowing them to cook for more people.
The meal will have traditional Thanksgiving fixings, such as green beans, rolls, gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and more, according to Perkins. Drinks offered are sweet tea, unsweet tea, water and coffee.
The kitchen recently started Marcella's "On The Move," in September to deliver meals for homebound residents, so Perkins also anticipates 35 to 45 meal deliveries going out on Thanksgiving.
"I feel like there's a lot of people that can't come here because they are homebound. … It's just another way for us to serve Marshall County," she said.
Perkins estimated up to 20 volunteers will be on hand for the meal.
"I think a lot of our people are seniors, maybe they don't have family to go to," she said. "My motto for the kitchen is, 'I don't want anybody in Marshall County to be hungry or lonely.' That kind of covers it all."