Braving the Cold to Deliver Thanksgiving Meals

SIMPSON, Pa. -- Inside Trinity Catering in Simpson plates are passed down the line, filled with Thanksgiving favorites, but after the packaging comes the delivery, and the volunteers who do that part had a bit of a harder time this year.

"My clothing, of course. I have snow pants on today, this is the first year for snow pants," said Lorna Maurer of Carbondale. She says she has been stuck with outside duties for 6 years.

Volunteers here in Simpson have prepared and delivered Thanksgiving meals to people in need for years but unseasonably cold weather this year created a new challenge.

"It's pretty cold. I have my letterman on, sweatshirt on, I'm all buttoned up, ready to tackle this weather," said Nathan Leo, Lakeland High School junior.

"We had snow and sleet one year and that was pretty bad, but that was in the beginning so we weren't prepared, we didn't know how to handle it. Now we're getting smarter about it," Maurer said.

On top of people cooking, packaging and delivering, it takes about 200 people to make this day happen.

"It's just amazing. The volunteers that come out here. We have 56 drivers alone," said Maurer.

And all 56 of those drivers have this drive-through assembly line down. Pack up the car, then it's out for delivery.

"They're all grateful. Very much so. They're all elderly, the ones I deliver to. They just have nothing, so at least they have a hot meal," said Debbie Calandi of Carbondale.

"It's just very fun to do. I feel like I have a purpose on Thanksgiving giving back to the community," said Leo.

Volunteers in Simpson packaged up and delivered more than 1,300 meals this Thanksgiving. Mike Melnick of Greenfield Township and his wife, Linda, run the event every year.

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