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COVID forces missions to do Thanksgiving differently

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Christian mission organizations in this part of the Northwest usually provide a traditional in-person Thanksgiving meal to many thousands of needy.

But this year, what is usual is not possible in most cases because of the COVID-19 vaccine. Most will instead provide Thanksgiving meals in “to go” boxes.

Many of the organizations invite monetary or food donations to cover the cost.  For more information, contact the ministries at the phone numbers listed.

The following will serve meals on Thanksgiving Day — Thursday, Nov. 26:

•Portland’s Union Gospel Mission, 15 N.W. Third, 503-274-4483; No in-person meal this year, but to-go boxes distributed starting at 10 a.m. The mission also will distribute Thanksgiving meals throughout the week to local homeless camps.

•Salem’s Union Gospel Mission, men’s shelter, 345 Commercial St. N.E.,; 503-362-3983; noon to 1:30 p.m., serving up to 300, but limitations on attendance due to COVID. For the women’s shelter, the in-person meals are limited this year only to the facility’s clients, due to COVID.

•Portland’s Cityteam International, 526 S.E. Grand Ave., 503-231-9334; No in-person Thanksgiving meal this year, but to-go meals distributed from  5;45 to 6:15 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Cityteam also will have a special outreach of clothing, food and free haircuts Saturday, Nov. 7, behind their building from 1 to 4 p.m.

•Astoria Rescue Mission, 62 W. Bond, 503-325-6243; 3 p.m., in-person meal but with careful adherance to COVID restrictions.

•Roseburg Rescue Mission, 752 S.E. Pine, 541-673-3004; 1 p.m.,. in-person meal limited to those currently staying at the mission because of COVID.  But the mission will give turkey sandwiches. socks and “goodie bags’ to the general public starting at 1 p.m.

•Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission, and The Salvation Army, both in McMinnville.   503-472-9766 (mission) or 503-472-1009 (S. Army). Normally, these two agencies team up to offer an in-person meal at  St. James Catholic Church,  but COVID is preventing use of the church kitchen and a traditional in-person meal will not be held; instead to-go meals will be distributed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. between Davis and Ford streets downtown.

Four agencies — one each in Portland, Eugene, Central Oregon and Longview, Wash. — will observe Thanksgiving other dates:

•Eugene Mission, 1542 W. First St., 541-344-3251.  Lane County has tight restrictions on distribution of “to go” meals, and COVID is preventing the mission from doing an in-person meal. However, throughout Thanksgiving week the mission will distribute cooked turkeys and other food items throughout the community to other local service agencies.

•Salvation Army, Long-view, Wash., 1639 10th Ave., 360-423-3990; serving to-go meals from 11;45 to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25.

•The Shepherd’s House, Bend, 1854 N.E. Division St., 541-388-2096, starting at noon  Wednesday, Nov. 25, either with a walk-through format while adhering to social distancing, or by providing to-go boxed meals.

•Portland Rescue Mission, 111 W. Burnside St., Portland. 503-647-7466,  No in-person Thanksgiving meal because of COVID, but meals served in to-go containers from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25.