BUFFALO, N.Y. — Sister Mary Johnice, director over at the Response to Love Center, says they typically serve about 1,000 meals a month.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, however, she says the center has been serving double that every month, and it's also why there will also be a need for Thanksgiving meals this year.
"We have special bags and special containers for them, and they're going to have the Thanksgiving meal just like they did downstairs, but it'll be given outdoors. We want to make it festive and special," she said.
In addition to being outside, the only different thing about the Thanksgiving meals served this year will include turkey breasts.
Everyone will have to social distance as volunteers pass out food in the parking lot.
This year Response to Love only has about 10 people helping them cook and serve the Thanksgiving meals. Typically, they have more than 100 every year.
But Sister Johnice says they only wanted a small number this year to adhere to public health guidelines.
In fact, volunteers have been practicing how to safely pass out meals ahead of Thanksgiving.
"The people who come here are our family and they know it. It's going to be a little bit different now but we're going to bring that joy to those people and we have to maintain that joy and take out and dispel the fear," Sister Johnice said.
Sister Johnice says everyone who picks up their meal will also get a special surprise this year.
People can pick up their meals on Thanksgiving between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Response to Love is also renovating the dining room because it's 100 years old.
If you would like to donate to the renovation costs, just click here.
Joseph Heary, executive director over at the Friends of Night People, says they are also open on Thanksgiving to pass out meals from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
He says turkey and trimmings will be provided to families who registered with the food pantry before November 1.