A fridge full of good food was whipped into a Thanksgiving feast last year for about 300 hungry diners. Another similar amount of people is expected to be fed this year at the Arcata Community Center.

‘Twas the week before Thanksgivin’ and all through the land

Luke Patterson was stirring with his volunteer band

Turkey was stowed in the refrigerator with care

To feed all the people that soon would be there…

For seniors and homeless, the disabled and lone 

The Arcata Community Center soon would be home

Once again, volunteers will serve a Thanksgiving feast to those in need in the Arcata area. Luke Patterson with a great deal of help from volunteers, the Arcata House Partnership, and local farmers and businesses will provide a delicious free dinner from 12 to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving day at the Arcata Community Center (across the street from Health Sport) for all who would like to come down.

Patterson, a local restaurant owner, explained, “[The dinner] is intended for all who otherwise can’t afford it or who would be alone.” The feast, he said, is focused on feeding underprivileged people but, he said, “It is for anybody who would like to be there… who may not have a worthwhile alternative plan for Thanksgiving.”

For several years, Patterson has offered a place for people to come for their holiday dinner at his restaurant, Luke’s Joint, but last year he began working with local farmers to provide a large scale feast that was beyond the capacity of his small place. The 2013 version, he believes, fed close to 300 people. 

“It is a real, authentic, genuine event. Community sourced, community sponsored, community staffed and attended by the community,” Patterson explained.  

This year, Patterson said, he has teamed up with the folk at Arcata House Partnership and a crew of volunteers to provide a feast that includes sliced turkey breast, mashed potatoes, braised cabbage, roasted beets, gravy, mushrooms, cranberry sauce, tofu, stuffing and much more.

Patterson said that he has a lot of community support. “I could not believe how much I got offered.  I got unbelievable amounts of food at no charge—unsolicited offerings of food and services from local farmers and businesses.”

“I like to think I’m lucky in a lot of ways,” Patterson said. “There are a lot of less fortunate people out there. If I can do something about that, then I should.” 

If you feel fortunate and want to help others on this coming holiday, Patterson and the crew need a few more volunteers (he already has around 50) but he needs some shifts filled on Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the event as well as on the day itself. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact him at (707) 826 0415 or email him at Lukesjoint@gmail.com (please put the word “Volunteer” in the subject line.) Also there is a sign up sheet at Lukes Joint.

Patterson pointed out that there is no need for hungry folks to show up right at noon. “There will be plenty of food,” he said. “Don’t be shy about coming later. There will be food available the whole three hours. We have enough for 400-500 people.”

A special area with volunteer waitstaff will be provided for seniors and the disabled.