The Grand Forks Senior Center will be offering a traditional Thanksgiving turkey meal for seniors at a drive-thru event Nov. 17 at the Alerus Center. Each person must have a ticket; the deadline for sign-up is Nov. 9.

To reserve a ticket, call (701) 772-7245 and give the full name and birthdate of each person who would like a meal. The meals are for people age 60 and older and their spouses of any age, said Jami Schumacher, public relations manager at the Grand Forks Senior Center.

Tickets will be mailed.

The center’s Drive-Thru Thanksgiving Dinner event is planned for 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On Nov. 17, guests are asked to enter on the south side of the Alerus Center parking lot from 42nd Street, and watch for signs or people for directions. Drive up to the building, hand in the ticket or tickets and receive meals through the vehicle’s back window.

The Senior Center suggests a contribution of $5 per dinner. A contribution envelope is mailed with the ticket. Those who wish to contribute are asked to put cash or check into the envelope and give that, along with the ticket, to the drive-thru attendant.

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The Grand Forks Senior Center has hosted a sit-down Thanksgiving dinner for more than 20 years, Schumacher said, noting that the event has been so popular that, in recent years, it was moved from the Senior Center to the Alerus Center.

“In 2018, we reserved (space) for 600 at the Alerus Center and still turned people away,” she said. Last year, all 800 tickets were reserved prior to the event.

This year, the Senior Center decided on drive-thru meal service because of the public health threat posed by the pandemic, Schumacher said.

“Especially this year, we want to make sure seniors get a Thanksgiving meal," she said.

Drive-thru is also necessary because the Senior Center’s kitchen and staff numbers are too small to make and distribute 800 meals, she said, noting that mass meals also are provided at Easter and Christmas.

“Partnering with the Alerus Center on these annual meals has been great. They have a great staff, terrific food and an awesome atmosphere, normally," she said.

Seniors from the region are welcome to participate in the Drive-Thru Thanksgiving Dinner, Schumacher said.

Nearly 600 of the 800 tickets have already been mailed out, she said.