JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of Thanksgiving meals were delivered to families in need Thursday by St. Vincent's HealthCare volunteers.
Many of the volunteers were cab drivers, who crisscrossed two counties to deliver the 900 meals.
“A whole lot of cooking this morning. We had over 300 pounds of turkey, 200 pounds of sweet mashed potatoes, 200 pounds of green beans and whole lot of assorted items,” said Tracie Loftis, chief mission integration officer for St. Vincent's.
Volunteer Theodore Richardson Sr. went to home after home, standing in the rain while dogs barked at him, all because he grew up never knowing where he would get food.
“If we don’t get them meals, they won’t have meals,” Richardson said. “I know how it feels to be hungry and need and to want. That’s why I try to share with people when I eat or got food or whatever I would buy food for different people.”
It marked the 24th year St. Vincent’s prepared the meals, which are delivered to Meals on Wheels clients.
“We have been a part of this community for more than a century, and this Thanksgiving tradition of helping our neighbors has been a part of our community outreach for nearly a quarter of that,” St. Vincent’s president and CEO Tom VanOsdol said. “I’m proud to work with such a dedicated group of associates who support our mission each year by joining with our community partners and volunteering to serve on Thanksgiving Day. We wouldn’t be able to provide these meals to our neighbors without their help.”
St. Vincent’s Clay County created 400 meals for Clay County residents in need and St. Vincent’s Riverside created 500 of the meals for Jacksonville-area Meals on Wheels clients using:
- 300 lbs. of turkey
- 200 lbs. of green beans
- 200 lbs. of sweet mashed potatoes
- 200 lbs. of stuffing
- 100 lbs. of cranberries
St. Vincent’s Clay County is working with the Clay County Council on Aging, a local NJROTC group and various community members to prepare, package and deliver its portion of meals to families in need.
"Aging True is pleased to once again partner with St. Vincent's HealthCare and Z-Trip for our annual Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels delivery,” Aging True’s CEO Teresa K. Barton said. “The commitment demonstrated by both Z-Trip and St. Vincent's HealthCare is greatly appreciated by not only our clients who will receive this nutritious and hot meal but also our staff who, because of their gift of time and resources, are able to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their families."
To learn more about St. Vincent’s HealthCare, visit www.jaxhealth.com.