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COLUMBIA - Everybody Eats held an event to help the community have food on the table for Thanksgiving.

Almeta Crayton, a former councilwoman for Columbia from 1999 until 2008, founded the organization. She passed away in October 2013, but her legacy still lives on.

“She was always giving, and I do it for her,” President of Everybody Eats, Anthony Crayton said.

Everybody Eats started in Almeta Crayton’s pantry. She saw the community had people who were hungry and lacked necessities. She saw a need and made the decision to help.

Anthony Crayton said the foundation got its name from their upbringing.

“She always believed in everybody eating. If we got it it, we give it,” Anthony Crayton said.

Anthony Crayton is not just the president of the foundation, but her older brother. He said once his sister passed, he knew he had to step in.

“To keep her legacy going, I decided I would get involved preserve her legacy,” Anthony Crayton said.

Originally, Everybody Eats started with providing 70 turkeys for the community. Anthony Crayton said this Thanksgiving holiday they were able to distribute 625 turkeys to the community.

Volunteers helped this week with putting donated food into the Thanksgiving bags and distributing them to families to prepare a meal. The bags included cornbread, onions, celery, eggs, butter and other goods. The organization gave the families turkeys. 

“I love this. It helps people eat and are hungry,” Arthur Witaker, volunteer, said.

Kentrell Crayton said he continues to help others in need because of his godmother’s generosity and giving spirit.

“I watched a woman with size three feet wear size 13 shoes. Everyday I wake up, I know I have big shoes to fill,” Kentrell Crayton said.

Everybody Eats hosts other events during the year to help the community out. Kentrell Crayton said it will be creating a college fund during Christmas time. He said 50 high school students will receive a stipend to help pay for books or other expenses for college.

The organization will be hosting a free Thanksgiving Day dinner at Columbia Senior Center from 11a.m. to 2p.m.