Community Thanksgiving dinner serves thousands in need

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OAK HILL, WV (WVNS) — Close to 1,000 people came to the Lewis Community Center in Oak Hill for Thanksgiving dinner, all of them leaving with full hearts and full bellies.

Ten-year-old Brooklyn Large lent a helping hand. She said they had all of the fix-ins.

“We have turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, and I think stuffing,” Large said.

Her younger brother, Logan, chimed in, “We also have gravy!”

Food is a huge part of Thanksgiving, but many families in our area struggle to put food on the table every day. In Fayette county, 15 percent of the population lack access to food, and 30 percent of children live in poverty. But at the Lewis Community Center, there is a seat for everyone at Thanksgiving dinner.

“Everybody deserves to have a very good day at Thanksgiving, they don’t deserve to be left out,” said Large.

Over the past four days, around 300 volunteers worked to put on 19th annual Community Thanksgiving Meal.

Miss Teen Bridge Day, Katherine Dyer, said “You can come here for a few hours and make a huge impact on the community.”

The food is donated by local businesses. People could take meals home or dine in, or get Thanksgiving dinner delivered right to their door.

Each year, volunteers deliver about 1,400 meals, but this year they delivered about 2,250.

Preparing, serving, and delivering thanksgiving dinner to thousands of people in need is no easy task. Coordinator, Lesley Taylor, said she is thankful for the volunteers, the guests, and the entire community.

“It is an awesome feeling to look around and see how many people want to help other people,” said Taylor.

People who never imagined they would struggle to fill their own plates.

One woman who come for the meal said, “I’m an independent woman, I never thought that I would be the one sitting in this chair today. Ten years ago? No. But because of people like them here, they clothe me, they feed me, and I’m thankful for them, for the community and my friends.”

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