EATON — 52 volunteers with the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership (MVCAP) joined forces at Bruner Arena this Thanksgiving to prepare meals for the community.
This was the 25th year for the annual Thanksgiving meal that is held through donations by community members and organizations, though it looked slightly different this year.
After the food was prepared at Bruner Arena, it was able to be picked up or delivered in lieu of an in-person meal.
Last year, nearly 300 individuals were served food in person
“It was very different,” said Janelle Caron, Miami Valley Community Action Partnership Preble County Director. “There weren’t many people other than the volunteers.”
Those volunteers met people who pre-ordered meals at their vehicles to deliver their food.
“That process actually went really well because they were given a time slot to come in,” Caron said. “We didn’t know what to expect because it’s the first time we’ve had to do that. So, it worked out really well.”
715 meals were pre-ordered, and meals were also served to those who showed up that hadn’t pre-registered.
The MVCAP ran out of some side dishes, as any pickup or delivery orders were stocked with all side dishes as opposed to people just taking some sides when eating in person.
“We used a lot more food than we normally do,” she said. “We prepared enough for 800, and we did run out of some of the foods.”
Caron said there was never any consideration given to canceling the community meal despite the extra work it took this year.
“We always knew we would have it; it would just be in a different manner,” Caron said. “We worked with the health department to see what would be safe. We knew that many churches had to cancel their meals. We knew we needed to be able to provide that for those in need.”
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles