Salvation Army Amarillo holds free Thanksgiving dinner for the community

Heart of the High Plains

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Salvation Army taking this day of thanks to give back to the community by making sure everyone had a meal for Thanksgiving.

“We want to provide this special Thanksgiving meal for those who might just be alone at home and not having anyone to share it with,” said The Salvation Army of Amarillo’s Commanding Officer, Maj. Ernest Hull. “We’ve had many folks today who do just that, you know, they’re not homeless, and they’re not really in need, but they don’t have anyone to share their meal with.”

The organization served more than 100 people in two hours.

The meal was not just free for Salvation Army residents, but also for the community.

“We’re so blessed also, that it’s, it’s free for them. But because of our community partners, our actual cost for this is very minimal. Between the United supermarkets providing a lot of the food, affiliated foods and Tyson helping with food as well. We don’t have a large overhead for this,” said Maj. Hull.

They had ten turkeys and five hams, all cooked by the kitchen at Hodgetown.

“It’s really a great collaboration that we had from them last year where they did the community lunch, they said, ‘Hey, even though it’s a smaller scale this year, we still want to help out,’ so they held our turkeys and hams in their freezer and then they prepared them for us,” said Quintin Marquez, the PR manager with the Salvation Army.

The meal and community support are something that means a lot to the Salvation Army.

“It’s important to me, it’s something I’ve done for 21 years as an officer,” said Maj. Hull. “Here are not a lot of places for them to go to eat today. This is one place that they can come and just enjoy a good hot meal.”

“It’s great to see community members and organizations participate in getting us ready for it,” said Marquez. “It’s great to see volunteers as you see around us help us serve. We can’t do any of this without the volunteers and organizations around the community helping us out so it’s really great to see everybody step up.”

The Salvation Army has kicked off its annual Red Kettle Campaign this year. Maj. Hull said they are struggling with a lack of volunteers and the inability to hire for seasonal jobs.

He said adds if anyone needs a seasonal income, they are paying $10 an hour for up to 40 hours a week to ring bells at the kettles.

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