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Thanksgiving dinner was served from Response to Love Center's newly renovated facility

The center ensured social distancing measures were in place and even offered a to-go option for those who didn't want to dine-in.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Response to Love Center on Buffalo's East Side welcomed guests back in-person on Thanksgiving.

They served Thanksgiving dinner out of their newly renovated kitchen and dining room. During the COVID pandemic, the center made more than $400,000 worth of improvements to their 100-year-old building.

The center ensured social distancing measures were in place and even offered a to-go option for those who didn't want to dine-in.

Sister Mary Johnice was on hand this morning to thank Western New York for making their new renovation happen, especially after so many people had a difficult year because of the pandemic. 

"When you see today for Thanksgiving, our family members who come here on a regular basis are getting a meal, because they belong. We also have people who do not come every day for a meal," Sister Johnice said.

"But the beauty part is they can sit down enjoy. I really want to reach out to people without family, those who are in the streets, those who are in rooming houses, those who are without, so we invite everybody, the poor, the rich, the lonely, the frustrated, the sad. It's important that we come together because it's community, and that's what Western New York is all about."

While renovations were taking place, the center served meals outside.

"Our tents blew away twice, we had to invest in a canopy. We froze. We froze, but we said we'll identify with the people because they're freezing too," Sister Johnice said.

If you want to learn more about response to love or volunteer, you can visit their website responsetolove.org.