“Some people are waiting until their food stamps (reload) on a certain date, so that’s why I’m here,” she said. “This is helping so many people smile at Thanksgiving and it’s a time to be thankful and grateful.”
Miami Valley Meals culinary director Matthew DeAngulo was on site at the University of Dayton Arena drive-thru Wednesday, and said the organization was happy to step in last year when the Feast of Giving was canceled.
“Everyone needs to have a meal on Thanksgiving; everyone needs a meal every day, but we want to make sure they have food tomorrow,” DeAngulo said. “We hope it gives them a sense of family even if they don’t get to have that family Thanksgiving dinner.”
MVM employs several professional chefs who have worked to prepare all the meals distributed by the organization as opposed to giving out turkeys and ingredients for recipients to prepare themselves.
“There’s a lot of people we reach out to and help who don’t necessarily understand how to cook full turkeys and things. With this, they just have to heat it up and enjoy it,” DeAngulo said. “We have executive chefs who are very talented making this food, but we also get to say, ‘You don’t need to worry today, you just get to sit back and enjoy your Thanksgiving.’”
DeAngulo said no food from this year’s giveaway will be wasted, with any leftover going to local food banks and pantries for distribution.
“It’s just about making sure anyone who woke up hungry doesn’t go to bed hungry,” he said.