The Free Community Meals Committee, volunteers and organizers decided to fill the space left by the announcement of the end of the Smith Family Thanksgiving event at the Pine River American Legion.

A free meal will be served Wednesday, Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving Day. In the past, the Smith family meal was served on Thanksgiving Day. The Smith family recently sought others to take over the community event after 25 years.

“We've been doing the Pine River and Backus community meals,” said Brian Chaffee, Cass County Loaves and Fishes coordinator and community meal chef. “I think it's a natural progression that we should take that over. It's a community thing we should be doing.”

Chaffee is familiar with how much food to prepare, but he is reaching out to the Smith family for information pertaining to past meals.

“I understand from years past they deliver a lot,” Chaffee said. “They have a team of people to get meals delivered. I'm looking to them for the list of people that need us to deliver food.”

The event will be from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, at the Pine River American Legion. Regular participants of the Pine River and Backus community meals should take note that meals for the week of Nov. 25-29 will be canceled in lieu of holding the holiday event.

Chaffee said the committee saw a post by the Pine River American Legion looking for a party to organize the free meal event. Chaffee thanked his volunteers for making weekly meals possible. He also said the group is looking for volunteers and donations for the free Thanksgiving meal, which has traditionally brought in more than 350 diners.

“We're going to ask for volunteers for the meal and donations,” Chaffee said. “It's an expensive proposition to feed 400.”