Volunteers deliver Thanksgiving to those in need

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Volunteers across West Michigan spent Thanksgiving eve preparing to serve those in need. 

Meals on Wheels Western Michigan delivered more than 8,300 Thanksgiving meals to those who are homebound Wednesday. Delivery Supervisor Shelly Smalligan said it is one of the organization’s busiest days of the year.

“These days are the days I really step back and see what an impact we’re making around here,” Smalligan said. “It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day, but these holiday deliveries are so massive that I’m in shock every time.”

From dusk to dawn, volunteers joined the Meals on Wheels staff as they packed up and delivered the meals across Kent and Allegan counties.

“It’s a lot of work and a big task but it’s so worth it,” Meals on Wheels Delivery and Distribution Manager Dave Woudstra said.

Across town, Mel Trotter Ministries volunteers spent the day gearing up for Thursday’s feast. Every year, their Thanksgiving Community Meal at DeVos Place Convention Center serves upwards of 1,500 people.

“We’re going to have people from all walks of life that are going to be here,” Mel Trotter Ministries spokesperson Abbey Sladick said. “Some people who are experiencing homelessness, some people who might not be able to afford a meal.”

The annual event is known for serving up food and friendship.

“This is all about community,” Mel Trotter Ministries CEO Dennis Van Kampen said. “This is making sure that not only does everyone have a meal, but this is also about making sure that everyone has someone to share that meal with.”

Click here for a list of community meals happening across West Michigan this Thanksgiving.  

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