Several organizations will offer free Thanksgiving meals in Columbia and Jefferson City this week.
"A lot of these people in the community that we serve, don't know where their Thanksgiving meal is going to come from, so whenever they come in here and they get a turkey and they walk out with their basket, to hear them say, 'this is beautiful, I can't believe this,' that really gives us what we're working for is that gratification," said Nick Raines, Almeta Crayton's Community Programs vice president.
Some of the meal deals are dine-in only, but some include delivery and carryout options.
- The Salvation Army Harbor House at 602 N. Ann St., is offering a free community Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday.
- The St. Francis House in Columbia is offering a free Thanksgiving meal at 5 p.m. Thursday.
- Everybody Eats is offering a free meal at the Columbia Senior Center, 1121 Business Loop 70 E., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.
In Jefferson City:
- First Baptist Church, at 301 E. Capitol Ave., will have a full Thanksgiving meal from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.
- Immaculate Conception, at 1206 E McCarty St., is offering a Thanksgiving meal at 1 p.m. Thursday and offers carry-outs and deliveries. The church is also taking reservations at 573-635-6143.
"It means a lot, it helps us out quite a bit, I don't got money for all that stuff, it's rough out here," said Gary Schmitz, a Columbia resident.
According to the American Farm Bureau, the average cost of this year's Thanksgiving feast for 10 is $48.91, roughly less than $5 per person.
"We get a lot of donations around this time of year, people think about us," said Steve Jacobs, a volunteer at St. Francis house.
Check back for more information on community meals available on Thanksgiving Day.