The annual Jackson Community Thanksgiving Dinner will be served -- but on a different day and in a different way.

Normally, the event involves the cooking and serving of a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey and all the trimmings on the Wednesday evening before the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. In past years, the event was conducted at Jackson High School with eat-in service provided in the Commons area with carryout and delivery service also available.

The meals were free and open to anyone in Jackson County and provided through the organizing and coordinating efforts of the Jackson Food Program/Clothes Line and Jackson Area Ministries with support from the community in the form of donations and volunteer time.

However, this is not a year for “normal” and the organizers had to find another way to provide a Thanksgiving Dinner to the many recipients who are accustomed to receiving one. The on-site cooking and serving of a meal involving hundreds of volunteers and recipients could not happen because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Rather than canceling the event, organizers came up with the option of providing a drive-thru Thanksgiving Dinner, which would minimize crowds being together at one time while being more able to accomplish social distancing. Due to the nature of the event, the meal will not be cooked, but that will allow recipients to prepare and enjoy a meal on the day and time of their choice.

The drive-thru event is set for Monday, Nov. 23, and will start at 11 a.m. on Watts Blevins Drive, which is located to the rear of the Jackson Walmart store. Watts Blevins Drive can be accessed off McCarty Lane. Signs will be posted and volunteers will be stationed at the entry point to direct traffic.

The meal is available to anyone in Jackson County and will be provided while supplies last. No reservations are required, but family identification will be required and a form will be completed on site. One must be present to pick up a meal.