If you're among those who value New Times less for its journalistic and literary merit and more for its excellence as bedding, clothing and toilet paper, a traditional home-cooked meal or a feast at a gourmet restaurant may not be feasible for you this Thanksgiving. (Of course, there are probably plenty of people with roofs over their heads who feel that way about New Times, but we'll assume you're not among them.) If even a turkey sub from Subway sounds like a pretty elegant feast to you or your family this year, here's a run-down of some of the local shelters and soup kitchens that offer a Thanksgiving meal:
St. Vincent de Paul -- The society serves dinner to those in need at all of its five dining room locations around the Valley: 119 South Ninth Avenue; the SVDP Dan O'Meara Center at 420 West Watkins; 15832 North Hollyhock in Surprise; 14010 North El Mirage in El Mirage; and 67 West Broadway in Mesa. For times and more specific information, call 602-261-6806 or 602-261-6889. To donate food, call the warehouse at 602-254-3338.
Andre House -- Run by the Priests of the Holy Cross, but financed entirely by private donations, this shelter serves dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and every other day of the year except Fridays. But instead of the usual Thursday menu -- bean burritos -- the bill of fare on Thursday, November 25, will include turkey soup and homemade pies of all sorts -- including pumpkin, no doubt -- coordinated by volunteers Carrie and Diana. The Hospitality Center is located at 213 South 11th Avenue (between Madison and Jackson). For details call 602-255-9023 or 602-255-0580.
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Phoenix Rescue Mission -- Formerly known as the Phoenix Gospel Mission, the agency will distribute food boxes to poor families who can prepare their own meals at home at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 24; and will also serve a holiday-style dinner three times throughout the week -- at noon and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 25; and at noon Friday, November 26. 1801 South 35th Avenue, two blocks south of Buckeye Road. For details call 602-233-0300.
The Salvation Army -- The venerable organization offers Thanksgiving eats at a variety of times, dates and locations around the Valley. For specific information, call 602-267-4100.
For other options, give Community Information and Referral a call at 602-263-8856. It should be noted that all of the agencies mentioned above feed the hungry throughout the year -- it's just this time of year that it gets put in the newspapers.
For those of us with the good fortune not to require these services, a first-rate way to spend the holiday would be to pitch in on the serving. One way to do this is to help out Nick Ligidakis, chef of Cafe Nikos, 3360 North Hayden in Scottsdale (Scottsdale and Osborn), on his annual food-for-the-needy project. Ligidakis, who closes down his cafe for the week to devote himself full-time to cooking for Valleyites in need, needs volunteers to prepare and deliver. Especially needed are drivers on Thanksgiving Day. Call 480-423-8977 for more information.