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Drive-up Thanksgiving meals at Elks Lodge help locals in need

Drive-up Thanksgiving meals at Elks Lodge help locals in need

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Thanksgiving could get a little lonely for those who can't be with family or friends this year.

During this difficult time community members are trying to make the best of it.

For 33 years the Salvation Army has hosted its traditional Thanksgiving feast at the Elks lodge in Idaho Falls.

Hundreds normally come out to take part in the event but this year was a little different.

Instead of feasting altogether, early Thanksgiving day dozens of cars lined up outside the Elks Lodge to pick up their turkey dinner via drive-thru

Those who signed up early, they will have their homebound meals delivered.

"These people are hungry these people are having circumstances in their life to where they need a little extra help," said Major Orpha Moody of the Salvation Army.

Feeding America, a non-profit released statistics showing one in six Americans could be facing hunger because of the pandemic.

They say more than 11 million are still unemployed.

Many are turning to food banks and help like this for the first time.

Moody tells us they normally prepare to feed 600 people but this year they prepared to feed 1000.

"We know that we're doing a lot more. We see it in our food bank and we see it here. We did our deliveries this morning and last year we did about 120 meals and this year we did like 250," said Moody.

Organizers tell us the number of requests from people wanting to step-up and volunteer was greater than ever before. Because of the pandemic they cannot accept all the help.

"The health department doesn't want us to have a lot of people here. So we're working on a skeleton crew and that's when we brought a lot of it outside," saud Moody. "The volunteers here are being good troopers."

With all the challenges people have faced this year community members are still taking the time to be thankful this holiday.

"We're grateful for our donors. We're grateful for the people who have supported us over the years. Those that are coming here and those that couldn't come we still love them but we understand," said Moody. "The Salvation Army is in our community we've been helping them for over 100 years and we don't plan on leaving."

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Ariel Schroeder

Ariel is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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