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Locals around town are paying it forward to those in need

Posted at 6:27 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 18:10:37-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Thanksgiving is the time we spend with loved ones and think about how blessed we are.

For some, it’s about finding their next meal.

Grocery shopping to make your family's traditional dinner is usually a highlight during Thanksgiving.

With the pandemic affecting so many lives, the holidays just aren't the same and families aren't able to gather like before.

“Because of COVID-19, a lot of people couldn't do that. Couldn't come together so I was thinking like why not do something to bring people together even if its just the people in their household and help them have a meal together.”

Lanekia Bennett is a local hero who wanted to make difference. She created the Great Thanksgiving giveaway.

“Sometimes it's doing a small gesture for someone that can make a big impact on their lives.”

Bennett picked five families and gifted them Publix gift cards to make their shopping a bit easier.

Candace Battaglia is one of the winners this year.

“At first, I thought it was like a scam. I’m like wait somebody's calling to tell me that they were going to help me you know.”

Battaglia has a large family with one income and found herself making difficult decisions.

This year she never thought a stranger could make such an impact in her life.

“Usually we have to figure out during the holidays now well do we have to pay a bill or do we have a big holiday dinner. It's kinda you have to choose one of those.”

“I can buy my holiday meal and other food for my children and I don't have to not pay a bill. I don’t have to worry about that. My bills are paid and we have food on the table.”

Sometimes it only takes one person with a big heart to make a difference.

With so many in need, Marshay's Catering has been a staple in the community for the past three years giving out free Thanksgiving meals to people in Frenchtown.

“It warms my heart because when we get out there tomorrow morning they are waiting on us.”

Maurice Mccloud is the owner of Marshay's Catering.

Although he has volunteers he still cooks every meal himself.

He told me he has a passion for giving back.

"This is what I love to do and to know that I can bless others and you know feed others that's less fortunate it's a wonderful feeling.”

Marshay's Catering is preparing to serve 200 meals Thursday starting at 11 a.m. off of Bainbridge and Macomb Street in Frenchtown.