New Ulm community Thanksgiving dinner celebrates 34 years

Every year, the New Ulm Community Center puts together about 1,000 free meals for community members.
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 9:22 AM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Every year, the New Ulm Community Center puts together about 1,000 free meals for community members.

“It’s a community dinner,” said Les Schultz, “Sometimes we have people that may not have a home, maybe living by themselves or they cannot afford a meal or we have a few homeless people that actually come and everybody’s welcome. Everybody in our community is welcome. We all sit amongst each other and we enjoy a nice dinner.”

One of the event’s volunteers, Willard Weibel, expressed his gratitude for the long-running tradition.

“This is just great. I just can’t believe how successful this thing is every year,” said Weibel. “We keep wondering if it’s going to continue but there’s so many good volunteers here,” said Willard Weibel.

It takes over 200 volunteers to host the dinner every year.

For some, it has become a holiday tradition.

“I have been a volunteer for probably at least 20 years,” said Weibel.

The traditional Thanksgiving foods, including turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, are all made from scratch.

“It’s just all about sharing and giving to the community,” said Julie Kraus.

The event served 1,000 pounds of turkey, 450 pounds of potatoes, 140 pumpkin pies.