New Kent County Thanksgiving feast feeds over 800 in community

By Amy Jo Martin, amartin@tidewaterreview.com

2:21 PM EST, December 3, 2013


NEW KENT – Over 700 community members were fed this Thanksgiving thanks to the Forge Foundation in New Kent County.

The foundation held its 4th annual Forge Thanksgiving Feast on Nov. 28, at the Providence Forge Recreation Center.

According to Ron Stiers, foundation organizer and Board of Supervisors member, 52 turkeys were donated for the event, with the majority coming from volunteer fire departments in Quinton, Providence Forge, and Lanexa. Randy Caldwell, of Rockahock Campgrounds, smoked all 52 turkeys in a cooker he bought especially for the event.

Interact Club donated $2,000 worth of canned goods to shelters, and turkey carcasses were picked up by a group from Gloucester to make soup for the needy.

Over 200 volunteers, including local Girl Scout Troop #573, served 500 sit-down dinners, and 100 to-go meals. An additional 250 meals were sent to three different shelters, and four whole sliced turkeys were delivered to each of the county’s four firehouses.

Stiers estimates that the Forge Foundation has fed thousands of people since it started the feast four years ago, for only 99 cents per person.

“It’s a lot of work, getting prepared and cleaning up, but every year it is worth it to make someone’s holiday. No one should ever go hungry in this country,” Stiers said.

Although Stiers has been praised for spearheading the event four years ago, he insists that the feast is a team effort, mainly run by volunteers.

“I honestly believe God works through people and they are the ones who deserve all the praise,” Stiers said. “The volunteers did all the work.”

Got photos from the event? Send them to: amartin@tidewaterreview.com and become part of our online photo gallery.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.