Salvation Army provides Thanksgiving to go

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - Hundreds of volunteers came out to make sure the less fortunate get a hot Thanksgiving Day meal. The Salvation Army hopes to double their efforts next year.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – 750-families received Thanksgiving meals thanks in part to the Salvation Army and its team of volunteers.

Normally the federal government offers meals on wheels for the less fortunate Monday through Friday. But on Thanksgiving it takes the day off and that’s where the Salvation Army takes over.

“There's always more demand,” says Maj. Richard Greene. “We've filled up our list by Monday.

The Salvation Army with its volunteers is there to fill plates filled with turkey, mashed potatoes and all sorts of goodies for a Thanksgiving Day meal.

“There were more people calling us but we're always limited by resources,” says Maj. Greene.

But for the 750 lucky ones, volunteers like the Cline family will make sure their hot meal arrives on time.
For the past 17 years, Dave Cline has brought his family to the head of the Salvation Army table serving food.

“If you see the grandkids over there it makes it a fuller, richer holiday knowing that you're helping somebody,” says Dave Cline.

More volunteers are at the other end of the receiving line making sure the families they serve get all the fixins'.

The Ralphs are from Boise and each year spend Thanksgiving with the grandparents. But they'll serve others before helping themselves.

“It feels really good to serve other people,” says Brian Ralphs. “It does and just seeing their reactions at times is really nice.”

And those on the receiving end are grateful.

“We're thankful that there are others who think of us on days like this,” says Maria Hernandez who with her children will have Thanksgiving in their Salt Lake City home.

The Salvation Army only wishes it could do more.

“There are families that are eating just beans and rice because that's all they have at home on Thanksgiving Day,” says Maj. Greene. “We're going to try and give them a meal.”

Major Greene says they’ve teamed up with the University of Utah food services and a food program at West High School to prepare the meals. He says the plan is to make more food available.

“We’d like to serve 1350 next year,” says Major Greene.
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