Gannon University again will serve as the host for the annual Thanksgiving Dinner offered by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

The dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thanksgiving Day in Gannon’s Beyer Hall cafeteria, 628 Peach St. The dinner is free and open to the public; reservations are not required and anyone who is alone, in need, or otherwise would not celebrate Thanksgiving is welcome. Last year, nearly 1,000 meals, including some 400 home deliveries, were provided.

The Sisters’ efforts to serve to local residents continue to grow, and the collaboration with Gannon University allows the event to be held in a convenient, downtown location.

This year’s dinner will mark the fourth time Gannon University has served as the host.

“The Sisters of St. Joseph are essential to the lineage and legacy of Gannon University. The entire Gannon community is honored to be a part of their legacy of service by opening our campus on Thanksgiving, a day of gratitude and fellowship,” said Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D. “Service to our neighbors – especially our neighbors in downtown Erie – is a central part of our mission as a Catholic and caring University, especially during this season of giving.”

Said Mary Claire Kennedy, SSJ, Social Justice Coordinator for the Sisters of St. Joseph, “Once again, it is our privilege to provide Thanksgiving dinners to those who otherwise would be unable to celebrate this uniquely American holiday.”

In addition to Gannon’s support, hundreds of volunteers and benefactors make the dinner possible. “The generosity of all those who help contribute to this endeavor in so many ways help make it a reality,” Kennedy said. “We are extremely grateful to Gannon University and to everyone who supports us in continuing this long-standing tradition.”

Individuals who are homebound due to illness or age can have a dinner delivered. In order to arrange home delivery, contact the Sisters of St. Joseph at 814-836-4100 on Tuesday, Nov. 20 between 9-11 a.m.

Those interested in making a monetary donation in support of the dinner and local shelters, food banks, and agencies may send them to the Thanksgiving Dinner Fund, Sisters of St. Joseph, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, Pa., 16506-1249. Or, call 814-836-4198 or visit the website for the Sisters of St. Joseph.

This article was originally posted on on November 14.