Locals who might have gone hungry or been lonely Thursday now have something to be thankful for.

Locals who might have gone hungry or been lonely Thursday now have something to be thankful for.

After hearing that there was no community dinner on Thanksgiving in Ashland this year, WebSpirit Community Foundation stepped up to the plate. The nonprofit will host a potluck dinner on Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bellview Grange on Tolman Creek Road.

WebSpirit members decided late last week to organize the meal after they became concerned that Ashland residents who would usually attend a community Thanksgiving dinner would have nowhere to go this year, according to Libby VanWyhe, organizer of the event.

On Friday the Tidings ran a story on the absence of a community dinner planned for Thursday.

"To build a community of trust and a sense of abundance in our county, we need to share what we have in the holiday season and sit down and get to know our neighbors face-to-face," said VanWyhe, who expects as many as 200 people to attend.

Everyone is invited and, although no one will be turned away, WebSpirit — which has organized similar gatherings in the past — requests that people bring a dish to share and donate a suggested $5 to help cover the costs of the meal.

"Bring what you can, even if it's not much," said VanWyhe, who serves as the WebSpirit community assistant.

Those who would like to help with the Thursday meal can arrive at noon to warm food and set up the dining area. Musicians can also bring instruments to provide background music at the dinner.

Rivergate, an Ashland church, has held a Thanksgiving meal in the past but canceled the gathering this year and donated some of the food for the event to a group of churches that held a dinner Sunday, according to William Hayes, the organizer of the Sunday event.

Staff writer Hannah Guzik can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 226.