Everybody Eats program now accepting donations

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COLUMBIA - The Almeta Crayton Everybody Eats program started accepting food donations Wednesday.

Everybody Eats is one of the programs under Almeta Crayton's Community Programs. Almeta Crayton was a former city councilwoman for Columbia. She passed away last October. Crayton's godson is also the chair of her community programs. He said she was a very influential woman.

"She was a wonderful woman," Kentrell Minton said. "Definitely what we're doing is trying to keep her legacy alive, she was the mother of the community."

Minton said Crayton started the Everybody Eats program 17 years ago to ensure everyone in the community had a Thanksgiving meal.

"Almeta really felt as if no one should go hungry around the Thanksgiving month," Minton said.

The Everybody Eats program collects food to make dinner baskets, as well as a large cooked meal on Thanksgiving Day that will take place at Stamper Commons at Stephen's College. Minton said they need a lot of donations because the program keeps growing.

"Each year has definitely grown bigger and bigger," Minton said. "This year we're definitely seeing more applicants than ever."

Minton said they need all the "fix-ins" one would need for a Thanksgiving meal. This includes anything from canned green beans and yams to cake mixes.

He said he knows Crayton is proud of their hard work in continuing the Everybody Eats program.

"Right now she is smiling on us, it has definitely been a success we're definitely excited," Minton said.

Donations can be made at the following locations:

• St. Luke's Church at 204 E. Ash Street: Wednesday through Friday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday thru Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Moser's Discount Food at 705 Business Loop 70 West: Thursday through next Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Coordinator of the Almeta Crayton's Everybody Eats Program Kentrell Minton (right) awaits donations on the first day of the food drive on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Minton said his godmother, Crayton, started the program 17 years ago and this year was the first year it has gone on since her passing last October. (KOMU/Allison Ladd)

Kentrell Minton sits at the front door or St Luke's Church on East Ash Street awaiting donations for the food drive on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Minton said they welcome all Thanksgiving dinner food including anything from green beans to cake mixes. (KOMU/Allison Ladd)

Volunteers for the Everybody Eats Program receive phone calls on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, from people signing up for the Thanksgiving dinner that will be held at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. The volunteers also encouraged donations to keep the program going. (KOMU/Allison Ladd)