Church serves early Thanksgiving feast to families

November 10, 2012 5:20:02 PM PST
It's the season of giving and the Hilltop Church of Christ in Richmond fed hundreds of families an early Thanksgiving meal on Saturday.

The church has been putting on this event for the past eight years. They say the response and the need has gotten so great that they had to move the event from the church to the outside parking lot.

The day started off with a prayer. Then hundreds of people began to feast on food provided by the Hilltop Church of Christ in Richmond. The food was doled out by dozens of volunteers and members of the congregation.

Kevin O'Dell says this is the third year he's attended this event. He's homeless and welcomes this free meal, "It feeds me for the day. I live in my truck. I've been living in my truck for like three years in Richmond. So it feeds me."

The church has put on the "Everyday is a Thanksgiving" event for the past 8 years. Last year so many people throughout Richmond came to eat that this year they rented a tent to accommodate what they knew was going to be a huge crowd, "Last year we had 3,000, totaling our every day dining, as well as our every day market," said church spokesperson Nathan Rapp.

It's not only the meal that is cooked by church members that is served, people are also given a chance to get clothes and groceries. It includes a free turkey or ham for their own Thanksgiving meal.

Shameka Moore has three children and attended the event to gather food for their holiday meal, "Things are not so good. I'm a full-time student. I'm a single parent so it's kinda tough."

Rapp adds, "People truly have a need. People have lost their homes, people have lost the clothes on their backs, and just looking for a way to be able to live day by day."

Most of what is given out has been donated or sold to the church at wholesale prices. Rapp says that the church used $20,000 in donations and a lot of volunteer help to provide all the food, clothing, and groceries.

As an added treat, church members celebrated Colonel Douglas Gardner's 100th birthday.

Rapp also does the fundraising for the church. He says he will start fundraising tomorrow for next year's event.

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