MOREHEAD CITY — County families struggling with the rising cost of food will have a place to come for a free Thanksgiving meal Thursday.

Hope Mission of Carteret County Inc., a nonprofit Christian ministry that operates a community kitchen at 1410 Bridges St., will be open to serve turkey and all the trimmings from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Meals will be served in the dining room, according to John Sotirkys, who manages multiple programs at Hope Mission.

“There will be people here to help with food insecurity that day,” he said Nov. 16.

Sotirkys added that he’s seen an increase in people coming to Hope Mission not only for food, but with other needs.

“We’re seeing a lot more people hungry and a lot more people needing financial assistance to pay bills,” he said.

Volunteers from Liberty Christian Church in Havelock will cook and serve the Thanksgiving dinner, and Sotirkys said he was grateful for the help.

“We’re pushing out a 100-plus meals a day here, so getting help, especially on a holiday, is greatly appreciated,” he said.

According to a press release from Hope Mission, the nonprofit has served 37,675 meals to residents in need from Jan. 1 – Oct. 31.

In addition to those being served dinner at the mission Thanksgiving Day, volunteers on Monday handed out turkeys and all the trimmings to families. The giveaway was organized by Ed Fleishman of Morehead City who coordinated the effort with Morehead City Noon Rotary.

“We give away everything needed to make a Thanksgiving meal at home,” he said. “My family has been doing this about 15 years, and it’s just a great way to give back.”

Hope Mission volunteer Ken Yearick, who was serving meals at the soup kitchen Nov. 16, agreed helping others at the kitchen was a rewarding experience.

“It’s just a great way to serve, and it’s great camaraderie and fellowship,” he said. “The rewards are much greater than you know.”

As well as always needing volunteers, Sotirkys said donations of food are also welcome. He said due to rising food costs and gas, donations to the food pantry have fallen off. Plus, volunteers are especially needed for the mission’s Meals on Wheels program.

Hope Mission is a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry serving disadvantaged persons of Carteret County through food, clothing, financial assistance, recovery from substance abuse, shelter for homeless, compassion, prayer and other means of support. The mission of Hope Mission is to address the needs of poverty, homelessness and substance abuse in Carteret County.

The mission is largely financed by donations from individuals, businesses, civic groups and churches.

Food can be donated to the soup kitchen at 1410 Bridges St., Morehead City. Financial donations can be made online at or mailed to 1209 Arendell St., Morehead City, N.C. 28557.

For more information, call 252-240-2359, email, visit or like them on Facebook at


Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.


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