▶️ A COVID Thanksgiving calls for smaller birds, take-out orders and drive-thru meals for the needy

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

With a statewide freeze in effect to limit the spread of COVID and limitations on the size of gatherings, many people will have small Thanksgiving events this year.

That is prompting demand for small turkeys and takeout holiday meals.

The La Pine Senior Center served up a traditional turkey meal today with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls and dessert.

It cost just $4 per person.

Diners stayed in their cars and took the meals to go.

“Normally, we have a congregate. We have Thanksgiving here at the center. It takes up almost all available space, wall to wall people,” said Jamie Donahue, La Pine Senior Center manager. “Since COVID, we’re not able to congregate and this is the only way we could do this.”

The La Pine Senior Center has been serving takeout meals this way since the pandemic began in March.

This was their first drive-through Thanksgiving.

They served or delivered more than 200 meals.

For those who still want to cook the traditional meal, it’s time to get organized.

Newport Avenue Market in Bend has taken orders for more than 700 turkeys.

“We have seen an increased demand for turkeys this year, particularly smaller turkeys because of the smaller gathering restrictions,” said Erika Malolely, Newport Avenue Market store manager. “Also with a lot of the local restaurants and resorts not being open, people are looking for alternatives, so they are cooking at home or seeking out pre-cooked turkeys, which we do offer a small selection of as well.

Many grocery stores and restaurants offer pre-cooked or you-cook holiday meals, but time is running out to order them.

For those who’ve never actually cooked a turkey, Whole Foods Market is teaming up with Progressive Insurance to offer turkey insurance in case somebody’s rookie turkey-cooking attempt fails.

To be eligible for turkey insurance, a turkey must be purchased from Whole Foods.

People who want to prove they failed will be required to upload a receipt, a picture and an explanation of what went wrong.

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