Thanksgiving was celebrated a day early at Feeding Chittenden Wednesday afternoon. Volunteers prepared all of the Thanksgiving favorites to feed around 200 people.
Clarence Junior has enjoyed the annual meal at the past few Thanksgivings and often benefits from Feeding Chittenden’s services. As someone who struggled with homelessness in the community for more than four years, he says he’s thankful for the warm meal and place to sit down.
“It is rough, it’s rough,” said Clarence Junior. “I’m not afraid to admit it, some people just can’t afford thanksgiving meals. That’s why this is a good thing for the community.”
Wednesday afternoon, dozens of people stopped by to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving spread, all prepared by students in the Community Kitchen Academy class. Feeding Chittenden has been collecting thousands of pounds in food donations to make sure those experiencing food insecurity can still have Thanksgiving with their loved ones.
“That can be an incredibly stressful thing to put on when you don’t have money to do that,” said Hannah Harrington, service coordinator for Feeding Chittenden.
Staff say with so many Vermonters coming out, they really see the magnitude of the problem facing the community.
“It’s representative of the struggles so many people in our community experience around putting a meal on the table,” Harrington said.
Feeding Chittenden has been holding their annual Thanksgiving meal for more than a decade.