Elkhart drive-thru Thanksgiving serves more than 1000 people

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 7:11 PM EST
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - More than one thousand people in Elkhart were able to celebrate their Thanksgiving with a free drive-thru meal.

16 News Now was at the event today to learn more about how the Salvation Army and Navarre Catering teamed up to make this happen.

Since 2009, the Salvation Army and Navarre Catering have hosted a Thanksgiving community meal at The Matterhorn in Elkhart.

“Eighteen hundred people sitting down was just not an option this year, so we had to come up with a way to still serve the community, to meet the need and still keep everybody safe,” Salvation Army Lieutenant Wayne Benedict said.

This year, they decided to serve the more than one thousand meals drive-thru style.

“We did it like we always do it. We cooked 60 birds, did 400 pounds of mashed potatoes and 130 pumpkin pies,” Navarre Hospitality Group Owner Kurt Janowsky said.

Benedict says it was important to them to make sure the meals were still served even during the pandemic.

“We provide all year, and the need has no season, but it’s very important on Thanksgiving to make sure people that need a meal get one.”

And Janowsky says when he met with his leadership group, they were all on board to do the meal.

“We’ve got a pretty good excuse for not doing this, and to a person, not one of them wanted to take the year off. They all wanted to continue, find a way to continue and to serve the people we’ve been serving for eleven years. They wanted to keep serving them.”

Benedict says that without the community’s support, this meal wouldn’t have been possible.

“The city of Elkhart is what made this meal happen. All the $20 checks that come in, the $50 checks, that’s what made this happen.”

For more on how you can donate to the Salvation Army, click here.

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