Salvation Army feeds hundreds of homebound seniors this Thanksgiving amid pandemic


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Feeding hundreds of seniors across Greater Hartford. An army of volunteers turned out in the pouring rain in Hartford Thursday to make Thanksgiving special for hundreds of homebound seniors.

The Salvation Army has a tradition when it comes to Thanksgiving and it involves feeding hundreds of seniors across Greater Hartford. They didn’t let COVID-19 or soggy weather get in the way.

Thanksgiving dinner will look different this year for some 750 seniors across greater Hartford.
Still, the Salvation Army and an infantry of volunteers braved relentless rain to deliver traditional turkey meals.

Migdalia Lavenbein, Greater Hartford area coordinator for the Salvation Army said, “Normally, volunteers will come in super early and they’ll fill clamshells for us and we’ll take it out that way. But this year, because of the pandemic, we were able to have the catering house provide it for us in a to-go container. And it’s a beautiful Thanksgiving meal and it has instructions for the seniors on how to re-heat it once they get it.”

Doordash and United Way’s 211 partnered to help with deliveries.

Then there are regulars like Norb Church from Branford, dressed in a turkey costume: “It takes a turkey to deliver a turkey.”

He tells News 8 his festive outfit is an annual tradition: “We’ve been doing it for 15 years. We do Thanksgiving and we do Christmas…We are so happy to do this because we didn’t think we’d be able to [because of the pandemic].”

Norb Church of Branford.

This program’s been providing meals to homebound seniors on Thanksgiving and Christmas for more than 30 years, and there’s no end in sight.

Lavenbein added, “It put tears in my eyes to know that, as a community, we absolutely are the kind of people that we stand up together in spite of COVID. Even when our own lives feel dark and dreary.

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