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Big Bend, South Georgia organizations prepare Thanksgiving meals for families in need

Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 19:07:27-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Salvation Army in Tallahassee is joining a number of organizations making sure families get a hot meal this Thanksgiving.

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Grace Mission Church kept its tradition of Thanksgiving Dinner Tuesday, with traditional dishes served in open air seating.

Florida State Representative Allison Tant recognized the impact of their contribution.

"The fact that they're doing this in the middle of a pandemic is of course critically important, it's never been more important," Tant said.

And, as they prepared even more meals this year due to the pandemic, volunteers like Bonnie McHugh say its a heartfelt way to help support the community.

"For me to give back to people who have a hard life is a blessing. It's just going to be me and my husband this year," said McHugh. "This is a way for me to be the meaning of Thanksgiving."

Volunteers with the Salvation Army also plant to feed hundreds on Wednesday. Social Services Program Coordinator Julie Smith says she expects to see more families this year due to COVID-19.

"We know a lot of families are affected and have not had to make the choices before that they are now," said Smith. "So they may not be able to afford to do a full Thanksgiving meal. Also because people still sequestered at home they can only have a limited people just their family that type of things."

In Georgia, volunteers with the annual Livingston Family Thanksgiving meal in Bainbridge are ready to serve a meal of their own.

Mayo Livingston, Jr. began the tradition anonymously in the mid-80s. After his death, his son Joe is taking over, keeping his father's legacy alive.

"Life has been changed this year, and if we can make one day better, then perhaps not the world has changed, but maybe this corner of the world has changed."

Livingston will deliver about 450 plates from Bainbridge Methodist Church starting at 9:30 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Salvation Army in Tallahassee will begin serving meals starting Wednesday at 11 a.m.