Family’s Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving, 1621, painting by by Hongnian Zhang, 10’x6’

“Show up hungry!” says Tamara Cooper, Program Director at Family of Woodstock, inviting the public to the 37th annual Thanksgiving Feast at the Woodstock Community Center, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. There is no charge to come and stuff yourself with festive food. Volunteers are sought for clean-up afterwards.

As always, the event is not just for those who can’t afford a turkey dinner — it’s a community gathering that attracts a wide variety of people. “People come from all who over who have ties to Woodstock,” says Cooper. Some of them come year after year, others alternate years with their family dinners, and still others might suddenly decide one year to bring their family along.

This year, restaurants in the Saugerties and Kingston areas have pitched in to provide food, along with the usual generous donations from Woodstock eateries. Residents also cook for the dinner, says Cooper, noting that “if someone is baking pies for the day, they’ll bake an extra and send it over. We never know quite what we’re going to get.” An army of volunteers, including event coordinator Chester Pertchik, have been putting the dinner together and will help serve the food.


For the last half hour of the dinner, the volunteers will concentrate on packing up food to go, sending home leftovers. People who are homebound or don’t have access to transportation are welcome to call the Family hotline, 845-679-2485, and request delivery of a dinner.

Violet Snow

Family of Woodstock will hold its 37th annual Thanksgiving Feast at the Woodstock Community Center on Rock City Road from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 22. There is no charge for admission or for food. To volunteer for cleanup or request a food delivery for yourself or a neighbor, contact Family at 679-2485.