It's just about that time to begin the long process of unthawing that holiday turkey and settling on the best Thanksgiving dinner recipes.

But this week, community organizations are gearing up for the holiday season and asking the public to keep those who are less fortunate in mind during the holiday season.

Southwestern will hold a Thanksgiving Day meal open to the public in the high school cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cafeteria cooks will help prepare the meal, though the school encourages those who plan to attend to bring dishes for the dinner. School vendors have donated some of the turkeys for the meal.

Last year was the first year for the program, which drew about 200 people. At Southwestern's most recent board meeting, Technology Director Marvin Reece - who is directing the program - said he heard from area schools like Scottsburg, which was encouraged by Southwestern to start a similar Thanksgiving dinner this year.

In addition to Southwestern, the Knights of Columbus will provide pre-Thanksgiving Day meal deliveries for those in need. The meals will be delivered Wednesday.

Those interested in registering for a meal are asked to call Prince of Peace Church at 265-4166 by Monday.

The Madison Salvation Army will host a Thanksgiving Day dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the dining hall at 331 E. Main St.

Non-perishable food donations also will be accepted. Organizers said that although all food might not be served during the meal, food is also needed for the Salvation Army's regular meal site (meals are offered Monday through Friday) and food pantry.

Also, Madison Junior High School will host a community Thanksgiving Day dinner from noon to 2 p.m. with free food and music. All are welcome. Transportation is available. For more information call Scott Kollmann at (812) 701-0394.

Canaan Community Academy held its community Thanksgiving celebration Thursday.

The meal included turkey and homemade noodles.