Mel Trotter Ministries will host its Thanksgiving Community Meal at DeVos Place this year.
Doors for the annual event will open at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 25, and will serve those in the greater Grand Rapids area experiencing homelessness or anyone looking for fellowship around a Thanksgiving table.
Mel Trotter also partnered with Cherry Health to host a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic the morning of the event. The clinic will run from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., and the meal will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Free on-site parking also is available to all attendees.
“We are so excited to be able to be together again, and to demonstrate the compassion of Jesus to anyone who is alone or hungry this Thanksgiving,” said Dennis Van Kampen, president and CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “Being in community is what it’s all about, and we definitely missed that last year.”
The organization expects to serve free Thanksgiving meals to more than 1,500 people at this year’s event.
“For the last several months, our staff has held regular vaccine clinics at Mel Trotter,” said Dr. Jenny Bush, director of pediatrics and COVID response coordinator at Cherry Health. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and our community from COVID-19, and we want people to feel encouraged to get vaccinated. We know a big part of that is meeting people where they’re at, making them feel comfortable, and making the process as quick and easy as possible. We hope that by offering an on-site COVID-19 vaccine clinic at this Thanksgiving community event, we are able to remove barriers and increase vaccination rates for our neighbors experiencing homelessness and anyone in the Grand Rapids community who attends.”
Sponsorships are needed to cover the cost of the 2021 community meal, and there are volunteer opportunities available.
More information is at meltrotter.org/thanksgiving.