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Salvation Army modifies Thanksgiving meal plans amid pandemic

The Salvation Army will be modifying its annual Thanksgiving week holiday meals throughout Hawaii because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Salvation Army, Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division, will shift from traditionally served meals to individual meal outreach and drive-through events to reach thousands throughout the state.

For those in need of some assistance to prepare a home-cooked meal, the nonprofit in Hilo will offer a Thanksgiving-themed food box to be distributed to all who RSVP by Thursday.

“The food box will include everything necessary to make turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and other classic Thanksgiving foods,” said Lt. Jacob Bratton with the Salvation Army. “Everything will be uncooked so people can make the meal themselves on Thanksgiving.”

Hilo’s Salvation Army is expecting to serve about 500 families. Anyone interested in receiving a box must call 935-1277 by this Thursday.

Because of the pandemic, there will not be any volunteers needed to put the boxes together throughout the next few days.

The Salvation Army will distribute the boxes at a set time and date for each family at its location at 219 Ponahawai St. in Hilo.

Thursday also will be the last day to register a child or senior for the 2020 Angel Tree at Hilo’s Salvation Army.

The Angel Tree program runs every holiday season to provide Christmas gifts for keiki and kupuna and support to families in need throughout the year.

Parents and guardians wanting to sign children up for the program are required to visit the Salvation Army in person from 1-4 p.m. Thursday.

Parents and guardians must bring a picture ID, birth certificates or medical cards with a child’s date of birth and some proof of income, such as a pay stub, unemployment or supplemental security income.

Children must be 12 and younger, and seniors must be 65 and older.

The Salvation Army is pairing with Walmart for the Angel Tree gifts, so anyone interested in donating can shop at Walmart and put the gifts in their collection area.

People also can shop online and call 935-1277 to reserve a time to drop off gifts at the Salvation Army in Hilo.

Throughout Thanksgiving week, the Salvation Army in Kona will distribute food boxes, similar to Hilo, to 100 families that have already been identified.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Kona Corps. and Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill will provide 300 grab-and-go meals to those in need from 10 a.m.-noon at their location at 75-223 Kalani St. in Kailua-Kona. An additional 350 meals will be delivered to senior centers.

The Salvation Army in Honokaa will deliver 200-300 meals to the senior centers in Paauilo and Honokaa as well as local hotels and small housing developments in Honokaa on Thanksgiving morning.

Email Kelsey Walling at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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