Salvation Army serves up free Thanksgiving in Columbia

At 10 a.m., Lee’s is filled with the sound of music, plates cluttering and food being unwrapped. About 10 volunteers are busy preparing a Thanksgiving meal of turkey and desserts. Major. K. Kendall Mathews is the mid-Missouri regional coordinator for the Salvation Army. He said this is the 24th year they’re hosting a Thanksgiving meal for low-income families.

By Yiqian Zhang (Columbia)

“People are having to decide these days whether to pay the light bill, pay the gas bill, or pay the grocery bill. And during Thanksgiving Day, we don’t want people to consider the grocery bill. We want to feed them and know that they are loved and appreciated and valued here in our community. ”

15-year-old Breta Phillips is a sophomore at Rock Bridge High School. She said she has been volunteering for this charity event for three years.

 “It’s a great thing to do, because we are able to help the community and then we are still able to celebrate Thanksgiving because it doesn’t take that much time. And by doing that, we are helping lots of people.”

Bill Randolph has been coming since 1999. He said it’s a great deal to get from people who are willing to give.

“They have wonderful food, pies, turkey, ham, stuffing, dressing, all the fixings for a wonderful Thanksgiving.”

Matthews said this year the Salvation Army is expected to serve 400 people in Columbia and 300 in Jefferson City.