Community Thanksgiving Meal

Serve the Need in Johnston County’s annual Community Thanksgiving Meal, prepared for thousands of needy families throughout Johnston County is held the day before Thanksgiving. As individuals, families and group home residents flow in from the blustery and wet weather, most express gratitude for the early meal. The disabled and elderly are provided easy access to the building.

The free meal includes the traditional Thanksgiving menu of turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce and dessert donated and prepared by the Civitan Club, St. Ann Catholic Church, First Baptist Church of Clayton and Horne Memorial Methodist Church, the Woman’s Club of Clayton, Zaxby’s, Clayton Steakhouse, Waste Industries, and Clayton Residential Rentals. Turkeys are donated by Butterball and Grifols.

Volunteers from Serve the Need and the community work as greeters, seaters, and servers.  Youth groups are also involved — the Clayton HS Junior ROTC worked as parkers and baggers, St. Ann’s Faith Formation Class as card givers, and even the Girl Scout Brownie/Junior Troop in Clayton make place-mats for tables. Around 75 volunteers participate in the event each year.

“This is a community effort,” stated Serve the Need founder, the late Dr. Norwood Williams. He attributes its success to the many community sponsors and volunteers. “It is a great fellowship to those needing and deserving of a sit-down Thanksgiving meal with their families amid the warmth and friendship of caring and loving volunteers.” Over 3,000 meals are enjoyed by Johnston County families extending from Kenly to Four Oaks in need of good food and warm fellowship on the special Thanksgiving holiday.

To help physically or financially with this special community meal, please email

Thank you.

Click here to view pictures! –> PHOTO GALLERY