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Springfield’s Salvation Army is back with its annual Thanksgiving meal

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 5:23 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Salvation Army Springfield is back giving people a free Thanksgiving day dinner.

Salvation Army organizers said they try to feed 350 people. Major Jon Augenstein with the Salvation Army said the Thanksgiving community dinner looked a lot different this year from the year before.

“I just think this is refreshing. It’s another sign of hope,” said Major Augenstein.

Salvation Army’s food supervisor Vicky Knight said 2020 was hard because it was during the middle of the pandemic.

“We didn’t have any volunteers, which made it extremely difficult,” said Knight. “But we also didn’t feel like we can have people in the building sitting down.”

The solution in 2020 was handing meals over the fence so people could still enjoy their meals. But Major Augenstein said it was back to some sense of normalcy and a commitment to the community.

“The sense of community was almost completely lacking,” said Augenstein. “But it was still an opportunity to serve and that this year, we should be having a community in the way we’re used to.”

Augenstein also said there were some scares before the dinner started.

“We thought we’re gonna have a power outage,” said Augenstein.

But after last year, volunteer Derek Vickery said they weren’t worried.

“First thought was wow, we’re gonna have a candlelight dinner,” said Vickery. “That might be kind of cool.”

Then power was restored and the dinner went on without a hitch. Vickery said the sense of community stayed the same.

“Just tell them, hey, thanks for being here and we appreciate you,” said Vickery. “We know you’re out there, and we care about you and just have a happy Thanksgiving. On us, the community.”

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