Hundreds gather for companionship, feast at 1st United Methodist Church of Bradenton

skennedy@bradenton.comNovember 22, 2012 

BRADENTON — It was a time to appreciate hot food and to savor mealtime companionship today on Thanksgiving.

At the annual feast at the First United Methodist Church, hundreds of diners enjoyed a meal of roasted pork, mashed potatoes, green beans, black beans, rolls, drinks and various types of pie.

Volunteers served the needy in tents on the lawn of the church at 603 11th St. W.

“It’s a need for the community, that’s what we’re here for,” said Vicki Behlke, of Palmetto, a volunteer serving pie.

“I came to enjoy the food and the companionship,” explained one of the diners, Stephen Mathews, 52, of Bradenton. “I’ve met some nice people.”

John Toombs, 42, a nightclub manager from Bradenton, sounded a festive note with his colorful turkey hat, while Brad Stanford, 31, of Bradenton, who works in IT, almost outdid him in a sparkly turkey suit.

“We came to help out as much as we could,” said Stanford.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.com.

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