COLUMBIA - Columbia resident Almeta Crayton geared up Thursday to make sure everyone eats again this Thanksgiving. Crayton began collecting donations Wednesday for her 15th annual Everyone Eats Thanksgiving food drive and feast.
The donations will be used to fill baskets with food for Thanksgiving dinners that Everyone Eats will donate to those in need. Crayton says nearly 700 families have signed up for baskets since she began the process a month and a half ago.
Crayton will collect donations at Moser's grocery store on Business Loop 70 in Columbia every day until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That is when she begins cooking for the hundreds that join her for Thanksgiving dinner each year.
"We want people to know: this is Boone County. We ain't going to let nobody go hungry and be by themselves. So they can come on down and enjoy themselves if they have no where to go," said Crayton. She said the invitation goes out to anyone, from the elderly, to the poor, to college students who can't return home to visit their families.
Crayton said in past years, people have joined her for dinner from as far away as Ashland and Boonville.
The Thanksgiving day feast will be at Stephens College and Crayton said a taxi service in Columbia will offer a ride to those who need one.
To donate, visit Crayton at Moser's after noon any day before Wednesday, November 21. Crayton said she is happy to have volunteers help on Thanksgiving day as well.
"Lots of people bring their kids. It shows them everyone ain't always been blessed. Don't just say you've been blessed, bless somebody else. And you will find that it will make you feel much better," said Crayton.
To sign up to receive a Thanksgiving dinner basket, call Crayton at 573-874-0284.