Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Pictured above are volunteers serving Thanksgiving meals to the community last year.

Thanksgiving week has arrived and officials with the Rhea County Community Thanksgiving Dinner are asking for the community to help make the holiday memorable for those needing a hot meal.

The annual event is made possible through a collaborative effort between Rhea County United Way and a host of volunteers each year.

This year’s dinner will again be held on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22. Officials are expecting a to handout between 800 and 1,000 meals this year, and they are hopeful the county will again rise to the occasion to make the event a success.

 “It’s such a great event, and I’m glad we’re able to help feed those in need. Everyone always enjoys helping, it just makes you feel good to make a difference and see all the smiling faces. We’re usually done early enough to go home and prepare a hot meal at home with our families afterwards,” Rhea County United Way Executive Director Christine Ralph said.

 “We’re looking forward to another big turnout. We are thankful to be in a community that always shows up and make this dinner possible for those in our county in need,” she said.

Meals will be available for delivery beginning at 10 a.m. or available for pickup between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at First Baptist Church Dayton. Those needing a meal can call the Rhea United Way office to sign-up at 423-775-5633.

Anyone interested in making a donation whether it be monetary or cooking supplies or pumpkin pies for the meal should contact Christine Ralph at United Way  at

Officials said they will need volunteers to help with prep work on Wednesday in addition to those willing to help in the kitchen on Thursday with packaging meals, delivery and clean-up after the event.