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Salvation Army gives away Thanksgiving meals in Aberdeen

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:48 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For most people, Thanksgiving means cooking and feasting with family and loved ones. For some, however, where that meal will come from in uncertain. This year, the Salvation Army in Aberdeen partnered with local businesses to help ease that uncertainty.

In partnership with the Best Western Ramkota, the Aberdeen Salvation Army has prepared 650 meals for those in need.

“They get ham, turkey, stuffing, a biscuit and pie,” said Salvation Army Lieutenant Joe Alvarez.

Last year, the Salvation Army needed a COVID-friendly way to disperse Thanksgiving meals to the community. That’s when the Best Western Ramkota stepped in to help.

”A couple years ago, COVID kind of really threw us for a loop. They said we could just do a drive-through, why don’t we just do it over at our place? So we said that sounds like a great idea,” said Salvation Army Director of Volunteers Tony Jones.

The system in place keeps contact minimal, allowing those who need the meals to pick them up with ease.

“There’s a drive-up lane. Everyone just waits in their car. When they get to the front, someone will go out there and ask them how many meals they need for their family. They give them the number, they come in, talk to the crew inside, they package everything up into bags and then they take them out to their cars,” said Alvarez.

Although the way the Salvation Army disperses these meals has changed, they are grateful for the increased efficiency of the drive-through method.

”We don’t necessarily get the lovely Thanksgiving smell or the comradery of the elbows to elbows at the Salvation Army, but we get to feed a lot more people than we normally do” said Jones.

Today marked the second year of the Salvation Army Thanksgiving Turkey Feed. Organizers hope to continue the tradition for years to come.

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