Thanksgiving this year includes several interfaith gatherings throughout town, but fewer organized meals than in years past, and none on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving this year includes several interfaith gatherings throughout town, but fewer organized meals than in years past, and none on Thanksgiving Day.

Services are scheduled for the evening before, and the morning of Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26.

Wednesday evening the public is invited to Ashland Christian Fellowship, at 50 W. Hersey St., for a community service. Speakers there will share stories of their experiences with faith across cultures, from 7-8:30 p.m.

Thanksgiving morning, First United Methodist Church of Ashland will hold its annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, starting at 10 a.m. Last year's event brought members from 17 different faiths together in celebration. Community members are invited to the church, at 175 N. Main St.

Members of each church are encouraging those who are able to donate cans of food, which will go to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

The request underscores an apparent shortage in food resources this year. Churches and community organizations had held several free Thanksgiving meals for the needy in years past.

Those in need of a meal do have two places they can turn to this holiday week. Resources at each, however, are limited.

Uncle Foods Diner is holding its weekly, free meal on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Co-sponsored by Peace House, Uncle Foods Diner offers the community a chance to meet and socialize over a fresh-cooked meal. It is held each Tuesday at First United Methodist Church, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

First Baptist Church will hold a free, potluck-style meal Sunday afternoon at Pioneer Hall, 73 Winburn Way. Several churches and religious groups in the community are supporting the event, including Sons to Glory Men of Thunder Ministries. William Hayes with the ministry says members hold a potluck in Lithia Park each weekend, but Sunday's event will take on the feel of an authentic Thanksgiving Feast.

"Rather than trying to cook extra for the meal we hold each Sunday, we are just taking Thanksgiving as an opportunity to turn the regular potluck into a meal," Hayes said.

Due to limited resources, however, those who can bring food are encouraged to.

Ashland residents wanting to put a Thanksgiving meal on someone's table can help by donating groceries to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, at 2200 Ashland St. Cash or checks can be sent to P.O. Box 3578 in Ashland.

Elon Glucklich is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Contact him at eglucklich@gmail.com.