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PHOTOS: Thanksgiving meal at Epsom Fire Station

  • Visitors fill their plates at the annual free Thanksgiving dinner at the Epsom Fire Station in Epsom on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Charles Woods serves some fruit to Maurice Hanks of Pittsfield during the annual free Thanksgiving dinner at the Epsom Fire Station in Epsom on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • A “We are thankful for” list adorns a fruit tray at the annual free Thanksgiving dinner at the Epsom Fire Station in Epsom on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Karen Reese thanks people for coming to the annual free Thanksgiving dinner at the Epsom Fire Station in Epsom on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff

  • Walter Skora (left) of Epsom smiles as he receives a helping of turkey from Suzanne Garrity during the annual free Thanksgiving dinner at the Epsom Fire Station in Epsom on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz—Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Thursday, November 23, 2017

Fourteen years ago, Karen Reese and her husband, knowing there were people in the Epsom area who would go without a Thanksgiving dinner, decided to do something about it. They organized volunteers and food donations into an annual free meal that has grown to serve as many as 200.

Reese’s husband has since passed away, but her sons and a small army of volunteers have kept alive the tradition of giving back.

“The community is just incredible,” she said earlier this week.

On Thursday, just before the Epsom Fire Station doors opened at noon, Reese gathered a group of about 25 volunteers to say Thanksgiving prayer and talk about why they were there.

“We do it for others, in community and in love,” she said.

Visitors soon trickled in, and plates were stacked with turkey, vegetables, potatoes, gravy, bread and pie. Additional to-go meals were offered to anyone who wanted one, and while the amount of donations and number of visitors fluctuates from year to year, the food has never run out.

No one ever leaves hungry.