Setting the Table

Setting the table

Setting the table

The line to pick up bountiful $5 dinners from Stookey’s Family Dining extended out the door and down the street in Thorntown Easter Sunday. Much of the cost of the meal, which fed more than 4000, was underwritten by several community benefactors.

Submitted photo

Most folks turn to food in times when comfort is needed. We feast at weddings, funerals, graduations, and anytime we’d like to elevate the mood – even when it’s already a good one.

This past Sunday, as so many experienced the joy and sorrow of Easter without their life-long traditions like family and faith gatherings, 4000 residents enjoyed a great dinner. Stookey’s in Thorntown opened their doors with rare Sunday hours. A large contingent of community supporters underwrote a large chunk of the cost, making Easter dinner available for so many for only $5 per plate.

The hustle and kindness of the Stookey’s staff was a lift to the spirits of many who stood in a socially safe-distanced line that wrapped around downtown Thorntown for pick ups. Many commented that they were in awe of how quickly the line was moving.

Owner Jon Stookey told The Lebanon Reporter that he had phoned-in pre-orders for about 2,900 dinners. They were able to prepare just over 4,000. About 500 of those celebratory meals were delivered by volunteers to shut-ins, some Witham personnel, and area fire and police teams who were on shift Sunday.

Lots of reduced pricing and food assistance is available throughout Boone County, even while there is no traditional holiday to celebrate. St Joseph Catholic Church, First Church of the Nazarene, and other food pantries are still operating.

Clients of The Arc are busy with a community service project, even though the offices are currently closed to visitors. Grocery shopping and deliveries are available at no charge by volunteers by contacting the office and completing their form at and looking for “free grocery pickup” on the landing page.

The Boys & Girls Club celebrated serving their 4,000th meal on Good Friday. Staff and volunteers began reaching out to the hungry on March 16. They have committed to continued service from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Through the generosity of individual and corporate donors like Global Plastics (owned by Lebanon High School graduate JR Spitznogle) and Jacquie’s Catering, they’ve begun adding food bags for the weekend to Friday pick ups. All meals are being served again from the Lebanon location.

More volunteers are needed to help with the Tuesday meals provided by Backroads BBQ. Call the location, or see the link on the Boys & Girls Club website to sign up. The program is also in need of cash donations (you can do this online as well) and is accepting pantry donations at all locations (they are in particular need of individual fruit and applesauce cups, hamburger buns, carrot and celery sticks, and items for simple weekend meals).

Visit the local club for donations, information, fun virtual activities and more at

Be sure to look through the list of companies who are providing goods, and funds to make this amazing daily event happen, and remember to patronize them as a reward for their community kindness.

As the slogan goes, “We’re all in this together.” When it comes to hunger, Boone County is making a virtual seat at the table for everyone.