Delivering Meals on Thanksgiving Day, A Tradition in Luzerne County

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. --  Volunteers in Wilkes-Barre spent their Thanksgiving morning packing and delivering meals to those in need.

An assembly line of volunteers packaged meals throughout the morning on Thanksgiving.

They're all here for the Commission on Economic Opportunity, a nonprofit that's goal is to simply help others.

"There's a camaraderie here that you can't manufacture, it's real and people love what they're doing because they know they're giving Thanksgiving to people who otherwise would have no meal, be alone or whatever," said Mark Davis.

More than 800 meals are being delivered to people all across Luzerne County. Some of them are senior citizens, others are disabled or homebound.

Newswatch 16 followed volunteers as they delivered to this senior living complex in Wilkes-Barre.

"Very grateful. Very thankful. Very nice of them. We're going to eat together so that nobody has to have Thanksgiving alone," said Maryann Goret of Wilkes-Barre.

Organizers say as the need in the community grows every year, more and more organizers show up to help.

"There's a lot of need in the community, but then there is a lot of people willing to help out which is great," said Christian Bodnar, CEO volunteer coordinator.

"We're up to 850 meals this year. We used to do 200, then it was 300, then it was 4, 5, 6. Now it's 850, but we see more families come back like we do every single year," said Davis.

Former WNEP reporter Mark Davis has been helping deliver meals for 23 years.

"I started doing this when my daughter was five. She just turned 28. We did it because I heard a radio commercial one time that they needed volunteers and I thought, you know what, that's a good thing for my kids to know that not everybody has it like they have it," said Davis.

"It brings the whole community together, so it's on the people receiving the food and then the people giving the food out. It kind of brings everybody closer together and that's what CEO is about our tagline is people helping people," said Bodnar.

In addition to delivering meals on Thanksgiving Day, the Commission on Economic Opportunity also gave out groceries earlier in the week.

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