Grateful Heart Community Outreach Ministries free Thanksgiving dinner set for 1 to 5 p.m.

latonya and rene

Sisters LaTanya Roane, left, and Rene Drake started an annual free Thanksgiving dinner seven years ago at Grateful Heart Community Outreach Ministries in Havelock. The first year of the volunteer and donation-driven event, they started with 25 meals, and last year it had grown to 375.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012 at 10:04 AM.

Seven years ago, a simple idea of sharing the extras from a Thanksgiving meal started what now has become a Havelock tradition spreading good will and good food to hundreds of the area’s less fortunate.

Sisters LaTanya Roane and Rene Drake, of Havelock, had just finished work when they came up with the idea about a week before Thanksgiving in 2006.

"It was she and I in the truck when we first started talking about ‘Hey we ought to feed people for Thanksgiving,’ but our house is not big enough so that’s how it started," said Roane. "I just thought, ‘Man, we just cook so much food for Thanksgiving and half of it’s going to go to waste because we have a heavy hand in cooking. It would be nice if we could feed other people, too.’"

The sisters then just started talking up the idea.

"We were only about five days shy of Thanksgiving," Roane said. "As soon as we decided, the phone rang. We told somebody else and it just rolled downhill by itself and here we are."

At that first dinner in 2006, 25 people came out to enjoy the free meal. Last year, 375 dinners were served.

Grateful Heart Community Outreach Ministries now sponsors the annual meal.

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