Annual free Thanksgiving meal out reaches out to homebound

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - One family who has for decades made helping the community a Thanksgiving tradition has added a new layer of service. For more than 20 years the Kelly family, with help of friends and volunteers, has hosted a free Thanksgiving meal in Bay St. Louis.

On Thursday, for the first time, people didn't have to miss out on the meal simply because they couldn't make it to the dinner table.

Volunteers say it started out a little hectic until they came up with a system.

"I put some lettuce and I put a tomato," said volunteer Chance Stokes. "Then I give it to him. He puts mayonnaise. They put dressing, mash potatoes, corn, gravy, and  turkey."

The challenge for the Kelly family and the rest of the volunteers was to fix plates for people arriving for Thanksgiving dinner at the American Legion while at the same time preparing 86 to-go orders filled with turkey and all the trimmings.

Stokes said, "It's working pretty well so far. We just can't get them out fast enough. "

This Thanksgiving,  organizers decided to extend their Thanksgiving outreach to the homebound and disabled.

Nancy Kelly Bosarge is one of the organizers. "People who wouldn't have been able to come in and do it. They didn't have friends or know someone to come and get it for them. The Waveland police where generous enough to go and deliver it to them," Bosarge said.

Those on the receiving end of the hot meals said they were very thankful for the deliveries.

"This is what Thanksgiving is all about," said Bosarge. "It is to share with the community. That's what the first Thanksgiving was for. For the whole community to come can enjoy."

Waveland police delivered the meals to people in Waveland, Bay St. Louis as well as in the unincorporated parts of Hancock County.