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COVID-19 forces changes in annual Kalispell Thanksgiving dinner

Sykes Thanksgiving Dinner
Posted at 3:44 PM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 00:08:30-05

KALISPELL — Sykes Diner in downtown Kalispell will not be hosting their annual Thanksgiving feed for the first time in more than 40 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sykes General Manager Pam Haase says health concerns for all volunteers, staff, and customers were the main reason for shutting down this year’s event.

More than 130 volunteers helped put on last year’s feast, serving around 1,200 meals on Thanksgiving with dine-in, delivery, and carry out.

Haase says Sykes Diner will provide meals to Family Life Christian Church this Thanksgiving for meal distribution through delivery and drive-by pickup.

“With the guidelines and stuff that we’re trying to follow we just figured we really couldn’t protect our volunteers and our people the way that we would want to,” Haase told MTN News.

“So, we just decided that we would give it a year’s rest and Family Life Christian Church has offered to take our deliveries and carry-outs so we felt much better about it,” she added.

Haase says a few hundred Flathead residents have already signed up for Thanksgiving meals.