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Thanksgiving Day meals available to those in need or who are alone for holiday


February 19. 2013 2:14AM
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RUTH WHISPELL and STEVE MOCARSKY

tlnews@timesleader.com



The holiday season is all about giving. And with Thanksgiving right upon us, some area restaurants, organizations and churches are giving free holiday meals to those in need.
For one restaurant owner in Kingston, it’s about wanting to help people who might be in situations similar to his own earlier in life.
Peter Theodorelos, owner of Theo’s Metro at 596 Mercer Ave., began serving free turkey dinners on Thanksgiving 13 years ago.
“There was a period in his life where he didn’t have anything to eat on Thanksgiving and his family wasn’t around. He does it for the people and to show his appreciation,” said Faye Settas, manager at Theo’s.
Staff at the restaurant, which specializes in Greek and American cuisine, will serve the free dinners on Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The menu will include a Greek salad, turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing and cranberries. There will be pumpkin pie for dessert.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 283-2050.
In southern Luzerne County, a community action agency has stepped up to fill in for an organization that has been providing free Thanksgiving dinners for nearly a decade.
The Commission on Economic Opportunity will offer a sit-down dinner 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Annunciation Church Hall, formerly known as St. Gabriel’s Church Hall, 122 S. Wyoming St., Hazleton.
“The dinner hosted by Safe Harbor and the Klesh family cannot be held due to unfortunate circumstances. We are inviting all people to come participate in our dinner,” CEO supervisor Dave Ritter said.
An October fire gutted the Hazle Township home of Mike and Michele Klesh, who run Safe Harbor Lighthouse, the catering hall they have been operating on South Church Street in Hazle Township for the past nine years.
After purchasing the building 10 years ago, the couple began holding free dinners on Thanksgiving for those who couldn’t afford them. In subsequent years, the Kleshes began serving free Christmas and Easter dinners as well and expanded the invitation to anyone who was alone on the holidays.
CEO officials realize many people in the area won’t be able to make it to a free dinner location for a variety of reasons, so the organization also will prepare meals for delivery to the homebound and elderly, said Ritter.
CEO staff and volunteers will begin preparing the dinners at 9 a.m. Thursday at Annunciation Church Hall as well as at the First Presbyterian Church, 97 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre. Meal deliveries will begin at noon.
To volunteer or to receive a meal, contact CEO today at 455-4994 in the Hazleton area or 826-0510 in the Wilkes-Barre area, or call First Presbyterian Church on Thanksgiving at 824-2478.
The following organizations also will be offering free Thanksgiving dinners:
• Firwood United Methodist Church, Dagobert Street and Old River Road, Wilkes-Barre, noon until 1 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 823-7721.
• Forty Fort United Methodist Church, Wyoming and Yeager avenues, at noon. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the church office at 287-3840.


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