HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — On Sunday morning, attendees at the Church of Christ on Arlington Road in Hopewell received a Thanksgiving dinner, courtesy of the congregation.
“Every year since 1987, we have given out Thanksgiving dinners,” said Dr. James Michael Crusoe, the church’s minister.
He told 8News they started out serving dinner the day before Thanksgiving, but “over the years, it’s just evolved, and now we’re asking people to come to our worship service and they’ll get a basket.”
The baskets were filled with turkeys donated from local supermarkets, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green beans, greens, potatoes – “just about everything that you need to start a Thanksgiving dinner.”
Crusoe said the event has become especially important during COVID-19, as community members find themselves needing extra support, “It’s not just for the needy, but it’s just to help people save some money during the pandemic.”
“The holiday season can be depressing to some. Some people are going through grief, some people are alone,” Crusoe said. “When we first started we had college students in mind. Fort Lee is right in our backyard, we had soldiers in mind – people who may be disconnected from their immediate family. So we wanted them to feel at home and to feel loved.”
The baskets were handed out following the Church’s Sunday service, and Crusoe asked recipients to stay for the sermon before distributing the food.
“We want to feed the soul with a sermon, we want to feed the body with the basket,” he said.