Holiday banquet moving forward: Donations rescue county's annual Thanksgiving meal

One month after organizers worried they didn’t have enough money for the county’s annual Thanksgiving banquet, residents have given enough to save the meal.

In fact, organizers received so many donations they’re already purchasing supplies for next year’s meal, organizer LaTheda Noonan said.

Now Johnson County Banquets Inc. will be able to feed turkey, ham, potatoes and corn to the 800 people it’s expecting Thursday without any problem, Noonan said.

“The food is still going to be good, and the company is still going to be good. So come on down,” Noonan said.

Earlier this fall, organizers weren’t as optimistic about whether they could host the banquet.

About $8,000 — or $10 a plate — was needed to cover the cost of the food as well as pots, pans, plates and other supplies. Johnson County Banquets has been hosting the Thanksgiving meal since 2008, when 400 people arrived for the meal, and hadn’t previously had any problems raising what it needed, Noonan said.

The meal is open for free to any residents looking for a place to gather and is also meant to ensure people and families who would have trouble affording everything that typically goes into Thanksgiving dinner have a nice holiday meal.

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