St. Matthew’s House, Mission Community Church give away turkey feasts for Thanksgiving

More than 600 families in Southwest Florida will have a Thanksgiving meal thanks to the generosity of the community.

Families lined up Monday at St. Matthew’s House Thrift Store to get their pre-packaged holiday box. We spoke to those who explained this kind gesture makes their year.

A line of cars stretched for blocks at the distribution site ahead of the holiday.

“It’s never been this crowded,” Hazetta Davis said.

“We had people lined up since 9 a.m.,” said Pastor Jordan Rowe of Mission Community Church.

People waited in their cars for a holiday meal to benefit their families, each and every person with their own reason.

“I have two children and one on the way,” Taylor Winnie said. “We struggle every day to eat dinner, so it’s really hard right now.”

“I cook for 14 more people, and they are mentally challenged in my building, and I’ve been cooking six years for them,” Davis said. “So this is really helping because I need a turkey.”

“I have a lot of grandchildren, and they come to my house to celebrate the holidays, so this is a big necessity to us,” Virginia Epps said.

Mission Community Church and St. Matthew’s House teamed up to provide 650 Thanksgiving meals on top of the thousands of pounds of food they normally give out twice a month. Pastor Rowe says he sees how much his community needs it.

“Every week that we are serving, we are just seeing the need to continue to increase,” Rowe said. “We have so many stories of people saying this was actually the first meal they’ve been able to have all week.”

Rowe says they expected to feed about 1,500 people between the turkey giveaway and the other food they normally give away.

For the people in the cars that were lines up, it’s more than a turkey feast, it’s about a kind gesture that gives them the hope to keep going.

“This has been a great help to me and my family, and it’s really a nice thing that they’re doing,” Sandra Adams said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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