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Thanksgiving dinners go to needy homes for 20th year

South Boston News
Good Samaritan coordinators Evelyn and Aurelius Thorn Jr., William McCarty with the Wild Turkey Federation, Sue Davidson with Good Samaritan in Republican Grove, Good Samaritan board member Ian Rigney and volunteers Judy and Gilmer Meeler, shown with dozens of turkeys. / November 25, 2020

For the past 20 years, members of the National Wild Turkey Federation and Good Samaritan have provided turkey dinners with all the sides to families in need at Thanksgiving time.

This year, locals with the NWTF purchased 40 turkeys, 10 more than last year, and the Good Samaritan collected the rest of the items for a holiday feast, including canned yams, cranberry sauce, stuffing, canned vegetables, rice, pasta, potatoes and gravy.

“I picked up the turkeys this morning,” said William McCarty, expressing appreciation for the nice discount on the turkey purchases by Food Lion in Riverdale.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 virus, many of the Thanksgiving dinners will be delivered directly to families, instead of having people visit the Good Samaritan pantries in South Boston and northern Halifax County. Those who did come by the Good Samaritan at First Baptist Church on North Main Street were given staggered times Monday morning to pick up their meals, in hopes of keeping everyone safe with social distancing.

Sue Davidson, coordinator for the Good Samaritan in Republican Grove, said many households in the northern part of the county are in need of help this Thanksgiving — more than can be served in any single year.

“Our recipient list is rotated as a way to be fair,” said Davidson, who added, “I will be delivering to10 families.”

As volunteers loaded up meals for delivery on Monday, Good Samaritan president Bill Wilkins helped carry items out to the vehicle of one woman who was picking up her gifts.

“This really helps out a whole lot,” said the woman, who asked not to disclose her name.

The Good Samaritan in South Boston is open for those in need of food and clothing Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-noon. The pantry is located at the rear of First Baptist Church at 815 North Main Street. The Good Samaritan also provides temporary assistance for qualified individuals and emergency relief in events such as house fires.

“As the coronavirus continues, we are meeting people outside at the back door with food and winter clothing,” said Wilkins. It is suggested to call ahead to help the staff prepare your food order and what size of clothing you will need. The phone number is 434-572-9242.

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