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Thanksgiving: A Meal, Fellowship, And No Instant Potatoes

Benedictine Sisters of Florida
The Sisters of Benedictine and volunteers peeled 100 pounds of potatoes in an hour for last year's community Thanksgiving Meal.

If you’ve not yet bought your turkey and want to share the day with others, there’s an opportunity in San Antonio. The Benedictine Sisters of Florida are hosting a free Thanksgiving meal and fellowship for the 21st year in a row.

“When we first decided to do this, we thought we'd be feeding the people that live under the bridges,” said Sister Mary David, who is charge of planning the community meal. “Well, we have fed people that live in their cars, but mostly, people are hungry not just for food, but they're hungry for belonging and even for helping.”

She said last year was their biggest meal yet, as they fed 350 people.

“We do all the cooking here. We peeled and diced 100 pounds of potatoes in an hour. We’re good,” she said with a chuckle. “We have some volunteers who help too. We won’t use instant (potatoes).”

The Benedictine Sisters team up with St. Anthony’s Parish, 32832 Saint Anthony Way, San Antonio, where the main meal is held. The women of the parish make all the deserts and school students create the festive decorations.

The parish hall opens for dining at 1:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day with serving scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Reservations are required and must be made by Friday, Nov. 18.

Additional meals are sent to the area’s spousal abuse center, Catholic Charities and homebound people who can’t prepare a big meal for themselves.

For reservations, home-bound delivery or if you’d like to volunteer to help with preparations, call the monastery at (352) 588-8443 or (352) 588-8320 or email hnmdevelopment@saintleo.edu.
Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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