The Salvation Army Montclair Citadel will host its 36th annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday, Nov. 28, 12 p.m., at the Salvation Army Citadel, 13 Trinity Place in Montclair. Guests are welcome at 11:30 a.m. for “pre-dinner” entertainment and fellowship followed by a Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the trimmings.

The first Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinner took place in 1984, when about 20 people visited on a rainy Thursday. However, there was enough food to feed hundreds, and the staff began making calls to local shelters and made arrangements to deliver meals to others within Essex County. 

Each year since then, the number of those in attendance at the Montclair Citadel has grown, with more than 150 people in attendance last year, while more than 1,100 additional meals were delivered to housebound seniors and homeless shelters in Montclair and Essex County.

According to Major Brett DeMichael, the Corps Commanding Officer, “based on weekly attendance at our hot meal program, The Table, we anticipate that the number could be even greater this year.” 

In order to ensure that anyone wanting a Thanksgiving dinner will receive one, support from the community is vital. In addition to dinner, guests will also receive a bag of non-perishable food items and a warm winter coat. 

Donations of desserts, non-perishable food items and “gently used” winter coats are welcomed at the Citadel Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Volunteers are also needed in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday in order to help with preparations.

For more information, or to donate items or your time, call AnnaMarie at 973-744-312, ext. 654, or email anna.goglia@use.salvationarmy.org.