Binghamton’s Free Thanksgiving Dinner Returns to “Normal”
The Binghamton City School District is announcing that the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual community Thanksgiving dinner, hosted by honor students and other volunteers at the high school, will return to its full in-person service.
Residents have been gathering for a shared Thanksgiving Day feast for decades.
The meal is always provided free to anyone who wants to attend, regardless of social or economic situation with diners and volunteers alike saying the main attraction is the sense of community at the dinner.
During the pandemic, the meal was still served but, due to COVID restrictions and protocols, it was greatly scaled back and organizers reverted to a drive-up operation.
This year officials say there will not be any takeout.
Students and staff spend weeks collecting donations to support the dinners and preparing the huge amounts of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pies and all the traditional trappings of the Thanksgiving feast.
Many years there has been entertainment by student groups as well as donations of warm clothing for those in need in the community.
Prior to being hosted at the high school by students, the community Thanksgiving Dinners had been an annual undertaking by the Volunteers of America in Binghamton until financial and other considerations forced organizers to stop offering the meals. As with the dinners at Binghamton High School, the meals have already been for anyone who wanted companionship, regardless of other perceived need.
The 27th free community Thanksgiving dinner takes place from 11 a-m to 2 p-m November 24 in the Binghamton High School cafeteria.