Altoona United Methodist Church has held an annual turkey dinner in November for many years. In 2011, the focus of the meal changed. Tickets would no longer be sold for $9 each. Instead, a freewill offering would be taken, and ALL of the money raised through the traditional Thanksgiving-style meal would be used for mission projects. That first year, over $28,000 was raised at the Turkey Mission Dinner, and since that time, the meal and its far-reaching effects have continued to grow. In 2017, over $124,000 was donated.
Throughout the years AUMC has partnered with many organizations, including Meals from the Heartland, to help people both locally and abroad. They have hosted several mobile packaging events in their Family Life Center (which is the same room where the Turkey Mission Dinner is served each November). These mobile packaging events have proven to be extremely popular with the congregation because of the ability for all ages to participate together, side by side. From very young children putting on expiration stickers or decorating finished boxes, to the senior members of the congregation sitting down to run the sealer or organize finished bags, everyone is able to serve and participate in the vital ministry of feeding the hungry.
Only God could take a turkey meal cooked and served each November in a church in Iowa and multiply its impact to help people all over the world, including feeding over 300,000 people across the globe through Meals from the Heartland.
Heather, Altoona UMC