SPOKANE, WA - Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for all that we have, surrounded by family and friends. But for those without company, the Salvation Army, as well as dozens of other organizations, are holding free meals where community members can come together and enjoy great food during the holiday.
You can't have Thanksgiving without a little turkey, and the Salvation Army's kitchen and volunteers were ready to stir, flip, and bake some delicious holiday food!
"We have turkey and bread and stuffing," Ken Perine, the Major for Salvation Army Spokane, said, and it's all thanks to the community.
"We just want to provide a meal for folks again, to come sit down, tell us their story, and get a chance to know them; let them know they are appreciated and loved and just be thankful to be together," he explained.
As folks poured in, smiles were ever present.
"It's wonderful, they have tablecloths, special napkins, a centerpiece which is a turkey! And we are being served," one woman in good spirits praised.
Anyone and everyone joined in.
"I thought we'd come down here. [We're] out here for work in Spokane, and we were away from our families, so we thought it'd do good to come down here," Justice Keller said.
"We've had all sorts of folks come in for this meal, from somebody who's on the street homeless, or we've had people that are shut in at home," Perine said. "One year we had an elderly man that came in, had no one to have thanksgiving dinner with. He came in, just had such a great time, to have people around him. Boy, he had a lot of stories to tell! Ate them all up. It was just great."
For 130 years, the Salvation Army has fed families on Thanksgiving. Last year it was a drive-thru, this year they are dining in once more. They are feeding 150 individuals here, and there's a lot to be thankful for.
"We'll be making 150 meals, and some of those meals will leave here in containers exiting to our isolation quarantine program, and also to some of our shelter programs for the people who can't come in today because of their medical conditions," he said.
"Happy Thanksgiving," Keller said.
Full of food and blessings to bring a little thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, we asked Keller what Thanksgiving usually means to her.
"Thanksgiving means family and friends, just doing what you can. You really go to help out the community, because when you need it, the community will be there to help out," she answered.
Although folks had to wear masks while inside the building, they could take them off to enjoy the meal.
There were several free dinner events throughout the Spokane on Thanksgiving, but a couple more are still to come. This weekend, the VFW in Deer Park is serving dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. It's free, but a $10 donation is appreciated. On Monday, Feed Cheney is serving dinner starting at 5:30 p.m.