Free Thanksgiving meals fly out the door at A.D. Lewis Center

Local News

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — The holidays are going to be a little different for everyone this year.

But in Huntington, a local community center is making sure those less fortunate have something on the table this Thanksgiving.

The A.D. Lewis Community Center switched gears on their usual holiday tradition to keep the Thanksgiving cheer alive.

They’ve been serving the Fairfield West Community for years, making sure that those needing a helping hand would be taken care of during the holidays.

“A.D. Lewis has been here since 1967, and the annual community dinner that we have at Thanksgiving has been going on since 1988.”

Bryan Chambers, communications director, City of Huntington

However, this year—with the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a wrench into all long-standing plans and traditions, A.D. Lewis Community Center did something different: they gave out pre-packaged Thanksgiving meals.

Staff member at the A.D. Lewis Community Center hands a Thanksgiving meal box to a community member. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

“We have teamed up with two very wonderful sponsors: Coca-Cola and also Kroger, to have a walk-through line that you see over here where we are actually giving away dinners.” 

Bryan Chambers, communications director, City of Huntington

150 of them to be exact, and they contain all the holiday staples including a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans, and cranberry sauce among other things.

The Thanksgiving meal boxes include all the accoutrements of a traditional Thanksgiving feast. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

The effort to make this giveaway possible extends far beyond the bounds of this local community.

“During these tough times, it’s just so important for us to step up and give back and we’re a part of this community, we’re a part of West Virginia, and we want to do something to make sure that people can have a nice holiday and really enjoy themselves.” 

Jennifer Richmond, senior director of government affairs, Coca-Cola Consolidated

The people who came today to receive these holiday bundles were in high spirits; that this year, at least one holiday was being made possible.

Community members were lined up two hours before the event began for a chance to claim their own meal boxes. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

“I appreciate it cause you know, it’s Thanksgiving and I don’t got a whole lot. But like I say, when they giving out something like this, I’m gonna be here.” 

Wendell Singleton, Thanksgiving meal box recipient

“I think it’s nice, cause there’s a lot of families that needs it this time of year, especially right now.” 

Lori Ellis, Thanksgiving meal box recipient

The event began at 2 p.m. Thursday and was scheduled to run until 6:00 p.m.

Thanksgiving meal boxes being prepped prior to the beginning of the giveaway. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

However, organizers say it took less than half an hour to give out all the boxes.

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