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Thanksgiving meals served and delivered

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Nov 21, 2017 at 11:27 PM

The luscious aroma of roast turkey and the echoing greeting of “Happy Thanksgiving” filled the air inside the Salvation Army Center of Hope kitchen and all around loading docks at Good Samaritan Ministries Tuesday as Johnson City’s charitable ministries kicked off the holiday’s feasting for anyone in need.

Volunteers at the Center of Hope said the number of guests who came to eat was nearly double of last Thanksgiving, and the diners offered the reason why.

“The turkey was really good, the best they’ve ever had. And she really liked the tea,” an elderly man explained as he and wife made their exit.

According to the sign-in register, more than 100 guests had come through serving line at noon, just half-way through the two-hour dinner.

And at 12:30, go boxes were being loaded up for delivery to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle bell ringers and Salvation Army staff members were beginning to make their way to the kitchen.

At Good Samaritan Ministries, a small army of about 50 volunteers wrapped up the ministry’s two-day distribution of 750 Thanksgiving food boxes and fully prepared meals for the elderly and homebound early Tuesday afternoon.

And the work was continuing as more groups of volunteers came in to pack boxes for 200 additional families on Good Samaritan’s waiting list.

Good Samaritan Programs Director Pai Mushayamunda said, all total, the ministry’s Thanksgiving food outreach will include more than 3,000 in nine area counties.

He said Good Samaritan’s goal is to get all 200 of the waiting list food boxes to their intended recipients on Wednesday, “so that all these people can be in their houses with their families and enjoying their Thanksgiving meals” on Thursday.

The Haven of Mercy’s dining room at 123 W. Millard St. will host its annual Thanksgiving feast for anyone in need from noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday. By the end of the holiday, the Haven expects to serve and deliver meals to more than 3,500 people

For those who wish to help, the final prep work will begin at at 8:30 Thanksgiving morning.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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