By Frederick J. Gore / Special to The Republican
Updated Nov 15, 5:13 PM; Posted Nov 15, 5:13 PM
SOUTHWICK — With only 17 parishioners attending a live service and others watching on social media, Southwick Community Episcopal Church annual blessing of the turkeys and turkey distribution was held in the church parking lot Sunday near three pickup trucks full of frozen turkeys Sunday.
The annual blessing would normally be held in the front lawn of the church with dozens of church members gathered around, said Cheryl McCarthy, senior warden of the church. However, things were different with the new state and health recommendations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the church collected more than 300 turkeys this season to feed those in need including several families that belong to the church.
More than 170 frozen turkeys were distributed Sunday and next week 130 turkeys will be distributed to Our Community Food Pantry in Southwick.
Some of the organizations that will benefit include Our Community Food Pantry in Southwick, Westfield Food Pantry in Westfield, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, St. Vincent DePaul in Westfield, Southwick Civic Fund / Moolicious Farm – Thanksgiving Dinner Outreach program in Southwick, the Able House in Springfield, and the Springfield Rescue Mission.
Joe Deedy, of the Southwick Civic Fund and Moolicious Farm, collected 15 turkeys from the church and said this year individuals and families will not be permitted to dine-in and all 200 dinners will be distributed or available for pick-up to Southwick, Tolland and Granville residents only.
To date, the church has distributed more than 2,000 turkeys and dinners in the past 15-years with some groups and organizations receiving grants for other food items.