"Everybody Eats" expands its free Thanksgiving meal
COLUMBIA - The 21st annual Everybody Eats means more preparation and more locations where free Thanksgiving meals will be served.
CEO of Almeta Crayton's Community Programs, Kentrell Minton, said this year they decided to make changes to reach more people.
This year, more than 200 volunteers are serving an expected 1,500 people in ten different locations. Last year, volunteers only delivered meals and served at two locations.
Everybody Eats is hosted by the Almeta Crayton Community Programs and will hold the community meal today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The main location is at the Columbia Senior Activity Center.
"It's open to everyone in the public, rich or poor, black or white, it's about everybody coming together as one," Minton said.
Volunteers will also serve meals at Oak Towers, Paquin Towers, Welcome Home, Freedom House, Harbor House, True North, University Hospital, Women's and Children's Hospital and the Columbia Police Department.
A fourth-year volunteer said, it's all about the people.
"I love helping people out, it's great to come out here and feed people and I love to cook," Brenda Price said.
On Monday and Tuesday, the program exceeded its limit and gave more than 575 baskets to those in the community. The baskets included everything one would need to make a Thanksgiving meal from the turkey, to the sides, to even cake mix and frosting.
"We're just excited to keep this legacy, not only alive, but it's growing and that's our goal," Minton said. "Eventually, we want this to be a city-wide event and I think we're about there."