Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Meal organizers Jeannie Fanning and Paul Canevan at the Salvation Army Community Dinner on Nov. 27

For the 13th year, Salvation Army opens doors, kitchen for Thanksgiving

At 3 a.m on Thursday morning Jeannie Fanning went to the kitchen beneath the Kenai Salvation Army church to began preparing turkey for the Kenai Salvation Army’s Community Thanksgiving Dinner. At 7 a.m she was joined by students from Cook Inlet Academy who peeled potatoes and carrots. By 11 a.m the meal, consisting of the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, vegetable trays, and pie, was ready to serve to anyone who came through the doors of the church. This year’s Salvation Army dinner was the 13th that Jeannie, her husband Pastor Craig Fanning of the Salvation Army church, and congregation members Debbie and Paul Canevan, have organized and executed since 2001.

“When it started, we just gave out food boxes,” said Debby Canevan, who also manages the Salvation Army’s Family Services Center in Kenai. “But we wanted it were people who didn’t have anyone else to spend (Thanksgiving) with could come visit and enjoy a good meal. Anybody and everybody who wants to be with somebody, if they’re alone, or don’t have the means to get food, or a way to fix it — they can come and enjoy everybody’s company. I come every year so I can visit with the people that I see a lot of times through my work.”

Attendee Annie Lee agreed.

“This is nice to have here, for people who don’t have family,” she said. “It’s not just a free meal. That’s what this is really about — people who don’t have family can share the day. Not that we don’t know some of these people. We know most of them. It’s nice to see them here together.”

The meal was staffed by a rotating group of volunteers, many of them from outside the Salvation Army Church. Volunteers rotated in hourly shifts until the end of the meal at 2:00. Five servers worked at the cafeteria-style food line or brought guests drinks and pie for desert.

Stanton and Angela Kulich of Sterling have volunteered as servers at the past three Salvation Army dinners. Stanton, eating a meal after his shift, said that the event was “a credit to the community.”

The Kulichs aren’t members of the Salvation Army church. Angela was the one who had first involved gotten involved in the Salvation Army dinners. She couldn’t remember if she had seen the event advertised in a newspaper or hear about it at their own church.

“We’ve got no special reason for volunteering,” said Stanton. “There’s no big dramatic story. It’s just something we do. What goes around comes around.”

Doug and Brenda Bragg came with their high school-aged son JD to spend two hours volunteering as servers at the meal. This is the first year they have volunteered at the Thanksgiving meal. Doug said that the family has two older daughters who are away at college this year, and the three remaining family members wanted an activity that would bring them into new company.
“It was just a matter of being out of the house,” Doug said. “Thanksgiving’s about being among lots of people, not just being at home.”

 

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion PollyAnna Makabe (right) and Rye Cross at the Salvation Army Community Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 27. “We came to the dinner because we just moved down here from Wasilla, and don’t know anyone yet,” said Cross. “I didn’t want to make a Thanksgiving dinner for just two.”

More in News

Linda Galloway, of Kenai, fills out her absentee ballot at Kenai City Hall on Wednesday. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Questions on casting your ballot?

There are 12 days left until th Nov. 3 general election.

Kenai librarian Bethany McMilin demonstrates how to use Lynda.com, an online learning resource available for free through the public library system, at the Kenai Community Library on March 13, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Community Library goes late fee-free

The Kenai Community Library will no longer charge daily late fees for materials.

COVID-19. (Courtesy of CDC).
DHSS reports more than 200 new cases for fifth time this week

The statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate for the last two weeks, is high.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai City Council discusses COVID-19, emphasizes diligence

Growing infection numbers, increased case rates and mask compliance were all discussed.

File
file
Free flu shots available Saturday

Shots will be available Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lot of Kenai Central High School.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, bottom right, participates in a press conference via Zoom videoconferencing along with members of his public health team on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. Top left: Jamie Hartung, interpreter; top right: Heidi Hedburg, director of Public Health; center left: Dr. Joe McLaughlin, chief of the Alaska Section of Epidemiology at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services; center right: Adam Crum, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services; bottom left: Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer; bottom right: Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Screenshot by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
‘We always knew that virus cases were going to rise’

In first press conference in almost two months, Dunleavy addresses recent virus surge

This graphic shows the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District risk levels associated with different numbers of new COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)
High case counts to keep schools remote for another week

Central and southern peninsula schools to continue remote learning through Oct. 28

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 204 new cases, 15 on the peninsula

The statewide alert level, based on the average daily case rate for the last two weeks, is high.

Most Read