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Salvation Army Volunteers Deliver Hundreds Of Thanksgiving Dinners

SALT LAKE CITY, UtahMany Utahns struggled to put food on the table this Thanksgiving due to impacts from the coronavirus, but the Salt Lake City Salvation Army made sure hundreds of those families could enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Like a lot of events in 2020, the Salvation Army was not exactly sure how they were going to make it happen, but they were determined to deliver 800 Thanksgiving dinners to families in need.

“We’re seeing a different need, a greater need,” said Captain Rob Lawler with the Salt Lake City Salvation Army.

This Thanksgiving, the Salvation Army saw people who needed their help for the first time.

“People who are out of work or struggling to get back into work,” said Lawler. “People who have gotten jobs during the virus, but then they’re furloughed.”

Earlier in the week, they were short on volunteers. But, many people stepped up to help.

“We probably have more volunteers, if we were to run a skeleton crew, than we needed. But, it’s great because we’re going to make it an opportunity for everybody to do something,” he said.

Sarah Holland is part of the Cline family. She and her mother first volunteered to deliver meals 24 years ago, with several other family members.

“We’ve been doing it so long that when you don’t come, it doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving,” said Holland.

Now, it has become a tradition.

“Now, my kids are here. My kids are over here, and other nieces and nephews,” she said, pointing to family members filling boxes with turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

Fifteen family members helped with food preparation. Other members of the family had to miss this year because of the virus.

“We worked together for a couple of weeks to make sure that it would be safe for us to come and serve, that we could do everything so that we wouldn’t be spreading it and we could follow all the rules,” said Holland.

Normally, the volunteers go into the building and pick up the meals for delivery. This year, they did it drive-through style. They adapted in order to make it work.

“It’s just a fun way to spend time with your family and we’re helping other people at the same time,” said Holland.

That’s why Danielle Fredine and her brother said they volunteer each year to deliver meals throughout the valley.

“There are a lot of people, especially this past year that we’ve interacted with, where they don’t have family in state, or they don’t have the means to make a meal for themselves,” said Fredine. “So, to even add to the value of the day for them makes all the difference.”

She was also a little worried that the meal deliveries might not happen because of COVID-19.

“But, I know when people want to actually help others that we will find a way.”

All of the meals were made possible by generous donations from the community and a small army of volunteers.

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