Salvation Army’s free Thanksgiving feast includes extra helpings of hope

ORLANDO, Fla. — If you’re struggling to afford a Thanksgiving meal today, one local organization is lending a helping hand.

The Salvation Army Orlando invites everyone to its “Eric and Diane Holm HOPESgiving Dinner” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Thursday’s free event is being held at The Salvation Army’s gymnasium at 440 W. Colonial Drive.

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See map below for event location:

Organizers say the annual holiday dinner will look a bit different this year because of COVID-19.

Instead of the traditional eat-in setup, volunteers will serve to-go meals, with limited outdoor seating available.

The Salvation Army estimates it will hand out 15,000 pre-packed Thanksgiving meals Thursday.

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Captain Ken Chapman stresses that while the event is a chance to enjoy some delicious food, organizers hope to convey an important message.

“After over 18 months of struggling through a pandemic, we want to bring hope to those who have lost their hope and to let suffering people know that someone cares.”

Chapman adds that the event has been possible for the past 27 years, thanks to the “tireless and generous support” of philanthropists Eric and Diane Holm.

More than 500 volunteers are assisting with Thursday’s free meal distribution.

To learn more about available volunteer opportunities or to make a monetary donation, visit www.SalvationArmyOrlando.org, or call 407-423-8581.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.