Citizen-led initiative to fill holiday void in Hudson

Scaled-down version of annual Thanksgiving meal program being offered

Hudson citizens took it upon themselves to put together The Hudson Thanksgiving Project to give a turkey meal to those in town who may not enjoy one otherwise.

HUDSON – Despite Hudson Fish & Game Club’s inability to offer its annual Thanksgiving Meal Program this year, some citizens took it upon themselves to make sure those in need will enjoy a turkey dinner this holiday season.

This citizen-planned initiative is called The Hudson Thanksgiving Project.

On Nov. 10, VFW Hudson Post 5791 Commander Glenn Della-Monica discovered some Hudson Fish & Game Club volunteers wanted to use the VFW for a scaled-down Thanksgiving project.

“The VFW is happy to help,” Della-Monica said. “Thanksgiving dinner has been a tradition in Hudson for decades. The VFW is tickled that some people wanted to pick it up and do a mini one.”

On Nov. 13, Hudson residents Angela Routsis and Mike Molkentine presented their plan to the post membership, who then voted to donate the hall on Thanksgiving.

“We gave them the hall rent free. Normally we would charge over $600 to rent it,” Della-Monica said.

Originally Routsis and Molkentine were putting feelers out around town trying to find a location to use as a home location for the project.

“The VFW was open and receptive to it from the first question we asked about,” Routsis said.

Della-Monica said there is a commercial kitchen that volunteered to cook 25 donated turkeys, while the rest of the Thanksgiving fixings – vegetables, stuffing, potatoes – will be cooked at the VFW. There’s also a group of volunteers ready to deliver meals.

“They will probably be able to serve around 200 or more people with the amount of turkeys they got,” Della-Monica said. “Now, they’re looking for people who want a meal delivered to them,”

For those interested in signing up to receive a meal, volunteer Catherine Dery can be contacted at 508-1561.

“If someone needs a meal they call me and I put them on the list,” Dery said. “People tell me how many meals they need and where to deliver them to. There’s other people handling others areas of the project, we divide and conquer.”

Hudson residents take priority, but those living outside of town will be placed on a waiting list. Any available dinners will be confirmed by Tuesday. If a non-Hudson resident receives a callback they can expect a dinner to be delivered. All meals will be delivered between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“Honestly, the community support has been amazing,” Routsis said. She said the idea for The Hudson Thanksgiving Project started on Facebook and has grown from there. “No one person said we should do this,” Routsis said.

She said she knows of at least 30 people that are already signed up as volunteers.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.