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Despite COVID-19, one Charleston Thanksgiving tradition goes on, with changes

West Virginia
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February 07 2021 06:00 pm

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Dozens of people turned out at “Manna Meal” inside Saint John’s Episcopal Church downtown, for a complete turkey dinner. Manna Meal has been feeding the needy and homeless in the community for more than 40 years.

“It’s a place they come seven days a week for getting some food to eat, like breakfast and lunch. And a little bit of groceries to take with them, back out,” said James Lucas, a Manna Meal diner.

But things are very different from last year, where there was a hot food buffet line and crowded dining room. Since COVID-19 began, meals are prepared by staff in to-go containers, and many people take carry-out. The dining room is now only at 50 percent feeding capacity, with masks and distancing:

“Everything is different. COVID has just changed all of our lives, and if anything we’ve learned to adapt very quickly… but we still strive to make sure everyone is fed every day,” said Amy Wolfe, Executive Director, “Manna Meal.”

Among the diners this year Chris Davis. She frequently comes to Manna Meal hoping to find her missing 47-year-old son Daniel.

“I’ve been coming here since my son went missing three years ago. And I always search for him, and we post pictures of other missing people, and you never know. There’s a lot of missing people,” said Chris Davis, a Manna Meal diner.

More than anything, Manna Meal is a family for a lot of people who no longer have family.

“Of course it isn’t just Thanksgiving. Manna Meal operates 365 days a year, offering two meals, and sometime three meals per day,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

Manna Meal served 248 Thanksgiving dinners Thursday. It is always looking for donations. To help go to:

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