Groups serve up free Thanksgiving meals in W. MI

Guiding Light. Thanksgiving meal
The annual Guiding Light Thanksgiving meal in Grand Rapids on Nov. 19, 2017.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A few West Michigan organizations and businesses and an army of volunteers will be bustling in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, ensuring everyone has a warm meal.

On Sunday, more than 100 volunteers served up turkey, vegetables and all of the Thanksgiving fixings to hundreds of people during Guiding Light’s annual feast in Grand Rapids.

Mel Trotter Thanksgiving
Photo: Volunteers and visitors gather for the 2016 Mel Trotter Thanksgiving meal in Grand Rapids. (Mel Trotter Ministries)

“I’ve been coming here the last few years for this event just before Thanksgiving,” attendee Allan Dean said. “It’s a good time. They have good food and good fellowship. It’s a good place to be.”

Holland Rescue mission plans to serve 1,500 meals during its banquet Wednesday, and will also pass out more than 500 care boxes containing cleaning and hygiene products.

Mel Trotter Ministries will hold its traditional feast on Thanksgiving, with the help of approximately 750 volunteers. The organization expects to feed more than 1,000 people – many who have nowhere else to go for the holiday.

The Mel Trotter feast will include more than 1,500 pounds of turkey; 1,260 pounds of mashed potatoes, 50 gallons of gravy and 200 pies.

Degage Ministries in Grand Rapids plans to hold its annual Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless on Wednesday. Approximately 250 people in need from the Heartside neighborhood are expected to take part in the feast.


Wednesday, Nov. 22, 6 p.m. | Holland Rescue Mission – Hope College DeVos Fieldhouse | Details

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 5 p.m. | Degage Ministries, 144 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids | Free meal for homeless

Thursday, Nov. 23, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. |  Mel Trotter Ministries, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids | Details

Thursday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Broadway Grille, 107 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall | Free meals are being offered. Additionally, donations are being accepted to benefit Marshall Mobile Meals. Delivery available for Marshall residents: call 269.781.9200. | Details

Thursday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m., and 1 p.m. | Railside Golf Club, Byron Center | Friendship Ministries hosting Thanksgiving feast for adults with intellectual disabilities from local group homes. Group home managers encouraged to RSVP at 616.536.1400. | Details

Thursday, Nov. 23, noon – 2 p.m. | Theo & Stacy’s Downtown, Kalamazoo | Dine-in only event for those in need | Details

Thursday, Nov. 23, noon – 3 p.m. | St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Spring Lake | Free feast open to everyone | Details

Thursday, Nov. 23, noon – 4 p.m. | Stanton American Legion, 337 W. Day St., Stanton | The meal is free and open to everyone. Donations will be accepted to benefit various community gifts and the American Legion’s charitable funds.

If you know of another meal that is not listed, you can email with a link or contact information to confirm the event details.