Behind the scenes of the 2021 Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Peeling, boiling, and mashing 250 pounds of potatoes is no small job, but with the help of her volunteers, Erin Smith makes it look fun! Photo credits Mary Jo David

by Mary Jo David

“Many hands make light work.” And many hands are certainly what’s needed when you’re shopping for and preparing the Stockbridge Community Thanksgiving Dinner—a 27-year tradition (not counting the 2020 cancellation due to COVID).

According to Erin Smith, who has been the volunteer coordinator of this monumental feat for the past three dinners, the 2021 event will provide about 500 dinners to members of the community. This year, the vast majority of the dinners are take-outs (from Heritage School) with just a few dinner deliveries requested.

So how many turkeys does it take to feed this crowd? The answer: 25, and they’re all donated by Stockbridge area residents. Add to that the 250 pounds of potatoes (donated by Gee Farms) and all the accompanying side dishes and pies, and you have the makings of a true Thanksgiving feast.

Special thanks to Smith and all of this year’s volunteers who helped to carry on this epic community tradition.

Dave Pentescu (left) and Jason McMillin (right) keep a watchful eye on the ovens at the high school as the roasted turkey production line gets longer. The meals will be assembled and available from Heritage School on Thanksgiving Day. Photo credits Mary Jo David