ELKHART — Hundreds of families in need will be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal this year thanks to the generosity of a local church.

Connexions Church on West Beardsley Avenue gave away Thanksgiving meals to 300 families on Friday morning. The free meal included a frozen turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and green beans.

Several people were lined up before the giveaway started at 10 a.m. Volunteers handed out over 100 dinners in about 20 minutes. 

This is the third year the church has been giving away turkeys. At its first giveaway, the church handed out 16 dinners and this year it was 300, organizers said. 

The church raised about $5,000 in donations for the turkeys and Thanksgiving trimmings, organizers said. 

Clay Powell, senior pastor at Connexions Church, said this is something they enjoy doing because it’s a way to serve the community and spread a positive message during the holiday season.

“For us, this is just a way of giving recognition to the needs out there,” Powell said. “I work for Elkhart Community Schools, too, so every day I see the needs. So I know as a community, what we want to do is, we want to help find and fill whatever need is out there.”

With 300 turkeys given away this year, church members said they are looking forward to the next in a series of events, including next year’s turkey giveaway.

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