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Seniors collect their meals as servers dish them up Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, at the senior meals site at Community Connection in Enterprise. No community-wide meals are planned for Thanksgiving Day this year.

ENTERPRISE — Once again, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting a crimp in holiday plans, at least as far as any community dinners go, according to several spokespeople of food resources.

In recent years — until the pandemic struck in 2020 — volunteers put together a community dinner at the Cloverleaf Hall in Enterprise on Thanksgiving, with donations going to the food bank at Community Connection.

But this year, even Community Connection’s senior meals are being cut back from its usual three times a week to just Monday and Wednesday, with nothing on Thanksgiving or Friday, Nov. 26, said Connie Guentert, manager of Community Connection.

But as for a community-wide dinner, no plans are in the works, Guentert said.

“We’ve let them use our building, but no one has reached out to me about doing a community thanksgiving dinner,” she said.

Granges, fraternal groups and others contacted all said they have no plans for a Thanksgiving dinner that’s open to the public.

Guentert said she’s not exactly sure why, but expects it’s likely because of the pandemic and social distancing.

“Gatherings of such large numbers of people … that’s probably why,” she said.

Guentert said the previous dinners at the Cloverleaf were popular.

“It’s always a full house when they do,” she said, estimating that from 50 to 100 people were served.

Previous dinners had been served at Community Connection, but the event outgrew that group’s space.

“It’s sad,” Guentert said, but said it doesn’t mean those in Wallowa County don’t care. She said helping out often comes more in an informal way rather than public gatherings as in the past.

“I think, though, that our community really looks out for each other,” she said. “I know if my neighbors are in need, we’ll go help them.”

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