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It takes a lot of effort and a lot of love to put together Thanksgiving meals for those in need, but it’s something Bob Grant has had a hand in doing since 1978. His work began started in 1978 at …
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It takes a lot of effort and a lot of love to put together Thanksgiving meals for those in need, but it’s something Bob Grant has had a hand in doing since 1978.
His work began started in 1978 at the VFW Hall in Brighton, with Grant helping to organize the annual Thanksgiving meal giveaway. This year, volunteers delivered more than 1,000 free Thanksgiving meals to the area’s needy.
“They do this every year on Thanksgiving since 1978 then it was moved to the Elks Club in 2015,” Grant said.
And it’s grown. When the program started in 1978 at the VFW it served from 50 to 100 Thanksgiving dinners to disabled vets and expanded. Since then for the last four or five years, they have been giving out about 1,000 Thanksgiving dinners.
Grant served in the army in Vietnam so when he came home, a veteran services officer with Adams County told Grant about the program and asked him if he was interested in helping.
The preparation starts in October, with volunteers gathering turkeys and donations ahead of time. With over 200 volunteers cooking on Monday and finishing up on Wednesday the day before the traditional Thursday holiday, the plates were put together with both a hot and cold meal. Then on Thanksgiving Day, the meals are ready to go out the door.
“We had over 45 drivers volunteer to drive the meals to its location. The last couple of years before the pandemic people would come in and pick up a meal and go back to their cars, “ said Grant. “But with the pandemic, we had cars lined up on Second Avenue around the Elks club and we brought the meals to the people. It’s a joint operation between the Kiwanis Club, Almost Home, and the food pantries.”
These organizations also help with Thanksgiving dinners in the 27J school district. The teachers give them a list of families and Grant coordinates with the families to deliver the Thanksgiving dinner.
When Grant is not serving those in need he volunteers his time with the Kiwanis Club doing a lot of public service work for the people and also works with CASA, Adams County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates.
“I do it because there are people need in our wonderful community – to come together in those kinds of circumstances – it’s just a labor of love,” said Grant.
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