'Everybody Eats' ensures meals for everyone this Thanksgiving

7 months 1 week 11 hours ago November 14, 2016 Nov 14, 2016 Monday, November 14 2016 Monday, November 14, 2016 3:43:00 PM CST in News
By: Jenna Puritz, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - 'Everybody Eats' is hosting its 19th annual program, which provides home-cooked, hot meals to people around Columbia on Thanksgiving Day.

'Everybody Eats' is hosted by the Almeta Crayton Community Programs team. Their mission, following in Crayton's footsteps, is to make sure no one goes hungry. 

"Everybody must eat," Kentrell Minton said. Minton, executive director of ACCP, stressed that Crayton truly believed no one should go hungry. 

Coordinator Janice Dawson said several teams of volunteers will make the day run efficiently. She said it's essential to have the food prep, warming, delivering and serving teams coordinated throughout the day to get the job done. 

"There is a lot of behind the scenes work for the actual event," Dawson said. "The program is designed to enable us on this particular Thanksgiving holiday to bring any member of our community together during that two-hour, four-hour window to share a Thanksgiving supper." 

The 'Everybody Eats' program serves lunch to about 300 people, with home meals delivered to 100-175 residents at Paquin and Oak Towers, along with veterans and emergency room staff. Several benefactors play a large role in operating the program, including: Hawthorne Country Club, Shelter Insurance, Veterans United, and more. 

Dawson said without corporate sponsors, community organizations, and individual donations, the event would not be able to happen.

"It doesn't matter what their economic income, or their ability or disability, their race, their gender, orientation. All are welcome to come to this event and be one community and to share a Thanksgiving supper," Dawson said. 

Minton also said this event has become a ritual for some families. He said families that have left the community will come back to support, feed, and socialize at this Thanksgiving tradition. 

"It's interwoven into the tapestry of their Thanksgiving celebration, and now it's been interwoven into mine," Dawson said. 

For more information on the program, you can visit the Almeta Crayton's Community Programs Facebook page.

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