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Salvation Army Thanksgiving tradition marches on

Salvation Army alters Thanksgiving tradition

Photo by Evan Bevins From left, volunteers Katelyn Winland, Barb Hupp and Lisa Winland bag rolls Tuesday at the Salvation Army of Parkersburg for the organization’s annual Thanksgiving meal distribution. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all meals will be delivered or picked up this year.

PARKERSBURG — Efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus mean there will be no gathering in the gym at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving Day.

But that won’t stop the organization, its volunteers and supporters from providing meals for the holiday.

“We know that, a pandemic or not, there’s still need here in our community,” Salvation Army Maj. Carey Richmond said. “We want to make sure that we are still here for them, no matter what.”

Although fewer in number than usual to make social distancing easier and wearing masks, volunteers assembled in the downstairs kitchen at the Fifth Street facility Tuesday to prepare turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce and more for hundreds of Turkey Day meals.

Orders for delivery around Wood County have already been taken, but meals will be available for pickup from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or until the food runs out Thursday, Richmond said. Organizers ask that one adult per family come to the tent to pick up meals.

Volunteers are still needed, primarily to deliver 470 meals, but also to help direct traffic in the parking lot, assemble the meals and perform other tasks, she said. Anyone wanting to help is asked to call the office at 304-485-4529 and speak to Shirley Grogg.

Volunteers are asked to park in the back lot.

Preparing the meals is a family tradition for Waverly resident Lisa Winland, who has been helping for many years alongside her father, Salvation Army board member Jim Maley.

“I’m starting to bring my kids down now that they’re a little older and I can trust them to work instead of play,” Winland said as she, her 12-year-old son Daniel and 10-year-old daughter Katelyn bagged rolls. “I came down when I was their age.”

Volunteer Barb Hupp started helping with the dinner after her husband passed away.

“It gives me something to do and helps others too,” she said.

While some community meals have been halted because of the pandemic, Norwood United Methodist Church in Marietta is also moving forward with its annual Thanksgiving food service via delivery and pickup only.

People can reserve a meal at norwooddinner@yahoo.com or 740-374-5606.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

Thanksgiving meals

• Salvation Army of Parkersburg – Meals can be picked up between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the offices at 534 Fifth St. One adult per family is asked to come to the tent to get meals.

• Norwood United Methodist Church – Contactless delivery is available or people can pick up meals from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at 23 Colegate Drive in Marietta, behind the church.

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