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Thousands of needy families enjoy Thanksgiving in Southwest Florida

Posted at 10:21 PM, Nov 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-22 22:21:10-05

It's a tradition that's spanned three decades in Southwest Florida, Thanksgiving at St. Matthews House.

"At our shelters and different facilities we'll serve over a thousand, we've giving out over 2,000 turkeys and all the fixins to families," said CEO Van Ellison

The people they serve include the homeless, people who have fallen on hard times, or simply those who don't want to be alone on thanksgiving.

"There's a young man I was talking with, who lost a couple of family members to death in the last month or two, and rather than be alone on Thanksgiving he wanted to be with people," said Ellison.

It took an army of volunteers, along with food donations from the community to cook, prepare and serve this meal in assembly line fashion.

"I love doing this, it feels really good," said 17-year-old Gavin Hargroove.

Hargroove, whose father works at St. Matthews has volunteered here several times.

"lots of kids that are around my age are like I'd rather stay in bed than do this, and I think everyone has that, but doing this gives you a moral boost."

St. Matthews also served hot meals to the less fortunate in Immokalee and LaBelle this Thanksgiving.