COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Every year, Valley Rescue Mission provides Thanksgiving meals to people in need. On the morning of Thanksgiving 2022, volunteers gathered at the Valley Rescue Mission Women’s Recovery Center to prepare meals to be delivered to people’s homes.
Jarvis Hamilton has been partnering with Valley Rescue Mission’s Thanksgiving and Christmas food delivery programs for 18 years.
“We’ve got dressing, turkey, ham, desserts, greens,” he said.
Hamilton said the food is largely delivered to people who can’t leave their homes or don’t have family members around to help them celebrate Thanksgiving.
“Once the drivers come in, it kind of runs pretty fast,” he said. “Probably by about 11 a.m., we’ll be emptying out.”
Glenda Wilson, Women Addiction Recovery Center supervisor, said Valley Rescue Mission would be delivering 277 meals.
“Eden Church is going to come,” she said. “They used to help us serve. But this year, they’re going to help us deliver. ‘Cause that’s where we have our biggest need, is delivery.”
Volunteers at the event included regular Valley Rescue Mission volunteers and people volunteering just for the delivery program.
“I always post and say I’ll be here on Thanksgiving morning or Christmas morning, and some of my friends always show up,” Hamilton said.
Valley Rescue Mission also served Thanksgiving meals to food insecure people at its center at 2903 2nd Ave.
Ernie Perritt, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program supervisor for Valley Rescue mission, said that location would be giving out about 450 meals. Recipients had the options to dine in or take out.
Perritt said that Valley Rescue Mission has held the Thanksgiving meals program for at least 20 years and that he’s participated in it for eight years.
“Turkeys and hams, we usually get enough donated,” he said. “Everything else, I buy. And that money comes through donations, as well.”
At around 12:15 p.m., just after Valley Rescue Mission started handing out meals at its 2nd Avenue center, Perritt said that about a hundred people had already come by.
Next to the volunteer table were carts full of bread.
“Publix donates their day-old bread,” Perritt said. “We pick it up every morning, and we give it out to the public.”