The Tulsa Salvation Army’s Center Of Hope is serving Thanksgiving meals on Thursday to those in need of food. They will be giving out the meals starting at 12 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will continue to serve them until everyone who shows up is fed.
They said they feed people in need every day, but on Thanksgiving, they see more people than usual and this year brings the challenge of keeping people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Center Of Hope expects to serve around 1,000 meals to those without a place to go. This is an annual event where they usually let people crowd in and gather for a warm meal and long conversation, but this year they say they are implementing strict physical distancing practices. By only allowing about 150 people at a time, they are following the new city of Tulsa guidelines put into place this week.
They are not only keeping the number of people inside at one time low, but they are also cutting the number of volunteers to help keep people from crowding in the kitchen.
Tulsa’s Salvation Army Area Commander Mark Harwell said even with COVID-19 challenges, they knew this meal had to be put on no matter what.
“We are so strongly committed to those that are experiencing hunger, it’s not something that was ever a consideration for us to not do,” Harwell said. “Our question since the beginning wasn’t should you do it, the question is how do we do it.”
They are also doing to-go meals for the first time this year for anyone who feels more comfortable eating somewhere else, all you have to do is show up at the Center of Hope and ask for one.