ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Rescue Mission and a local church still plan on hosting Thanksgiving meals this year. We caught up with organizers to learn how they plan on staying safe while feeding the community.
“2020 is not going to keep us from celebrating Thanksgiving with people in our community who are hurting, who are homeless, it is going to look very different this year,” explained Crystal Cohoon, RRM’s marketing and communications director.
As a way to help those in need during the holiday season, many organizations in the Stateline host annual Thanksgiving dinners. To keep everyone safe, the mission is putting a new twist on the tradition.
“Individuals can come and we have different tents we have a meal tent that’s going to be set up and people can come in and grab one meal,” Cohoon said.
Court Street Methodist Church is typically packed for their Thanksgiving meal. Now people will be able to enjoy the meal as carry-out.
“However, this year we have new rules and regulations to follow, we can’t serve anyone in our two dining rooms so we had to rethink the program and making sure we were still providing a community meal for people,” said Sue Cram of Court Street United Methodist Church.
Even though there are going to be fewer volunteers, that doesn’t mean there’s going to be a food shortage.
Both organizers say it’s important for these events to happen because the need is even greater during the pandemic.
“Everywhere we turn you just see something else that’s canceled and for us that became apparent on day one when we were told to shelter in place was homelessness doesn’t cancel and if anything we’ve seen an increase in that,” Cohoon said.
But these Thanksgiving festivities will still be in full swing.
“There are a lot of people that need the meal and you know it’s been the goal of our church to always provide a meal on Thanksgiving,” Cram added.
“Our community is our family this meal is just as important to just celebrate the family of the community of Rockford,” concluded Cohoon.
Volunteers can call Bert Cromwell at (815) 721-4605.