Woodstock community feast draws hundreds of hungry Thanksgiving celebrants


Plenty of plenty in Woodstock, thanks to many volunteers

WOODSTOCK – The 41st annual Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by Family of Woodstock went off without a hitch, thanks to over a hundred volunteers helping serve roughly 600 plates of food to neighbors and friends at the local Community Center.
A long line formed outside the building on Rock City Road, starting at 1pm, for a feast which kept the parking lot packed until closing time rolled around hours later.
“We can’t count people, so we count plates,” said organizer Tamara Cooper, director of the local Family chapter house. “It’s a lot of people, always a good time.”
Cooper explained that her organization runs the oldest crisis hotline in the United States. The multi-program human service agency, founded in 1970,  provides services throughout Ulster County. Founded in 1970,
About a thousand plates were prepared this year for the Woodstock feast, Cooper said, noting that last year about 600 plates were served in-house, plus another 300 take-outs. Home-bound callers can also have dinner delivered door-to-door for free. Upwards to two dozen turkeys went into the effort, she estimated.
Volunteer Cameron Williams  has been working the event for about six years.
“It’s fun,” Williams said. “I love Thanksgiving, it’s my favorite holiday because we all have something for which we can be thankful,” he observed. “I love it here in Woodstock because everybody comes out. It’s not just the hungry and the street people, It’s your neighbors, and we get to catch up with each other.”
The food included not just standard fare of turkey, stuffing and potatoes, but also fancy side dishes donated by local restaurants from Kingston, Saugerties and Woodstock. One favorite dish was a delicious coconut-based curry vegetable soup from Yum Yum Noodle Bar, which sold out quickly.
By 4pm it was time to close up shop, and take-out containers were distributed to throngs of straddlers, as the holiday crew began making announcements encouraging everyone to start packing up their leftovers.