Hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners were served to-go on Monday by the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries.
About 550 turkey dinners with all the fixin’s were served between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday out of the Salvation Army’s Emergency Response vehicles in the parking lot of the Maple Ridge Baptist Church. About 150 of those meals were delivered to those who were unable to pick up their meal at the church.
“We have had a long tradition of working alongside the Greater Vancouver Realtor’s Board (Ridge Meadows) in serving a Thanksgiving meal to vulnerable members of our communities on Thanksgiving Monday,” explained Amelia Norrie with the Ridge Meadows Ministries.
In the past the dinner had been served at St. Patrick’s School, she said. However, this year a suitable location could not be found due to the pandemic.
Volunteers were in place who handled hand-sanitizing, handed out masks and kept traffic flowing so that people didn’t congregate.
“It was our way of giving thanks to, and nourishing, our community in a safe-celebration,” said Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries executive director Mark Stewart.
Last year 300 meals were served.
“So there was a definite increase this year,” said Norrie.
“Perhaps due to the pandemic, perhaps due to accessibility,” she added, explaining that this year the meal was served at the foot of the Maple Ridge Baptist Towers, subsidized seniors rental housing.
There were also shuttles running back and forth from the modular housing units on Royal Crescent and Burnett Street.