Local organizations feed free Thanksgiving meals for the community

DETROIT (WXYZ) – Thanksgiving often involves loved ones getting together over a hot meal and enjoying the company of others.

But not everyone has this luxury.

So, local businesses and nonprofits around the Detroit metro are working hard to give back tremendously and make sure no one goes hungry while on vacation.

“We all have a platform. We all have a voice, ”said Charles Simmon.

He and his Snipes colleague, Philicia Lowe, use theirs to serve hot Thanksgiving meals to the people at the Samaritas Shelter in Westland.

Simmon says he and his family stayed at the shelter when he was 8 years old.

“I really wanted to come back here and do something with them because it’s not just a refuge, it’s a place where they try to rehabilitate families – not just come here to play. They make sure we budget, get people back on track, ”said Simmon.

He is now a store manager for the Snipes Michigan flagship store. Simmon also heads the company’s Michigan community council and proposed the Samaritas initiative. Simmon said Snipes served 1,400 meals in seven cities across the United States for Thanksgiving.

“Because you never know what someone might be going through,” he said.

The meal brought smiles to people like Maryann Mullinax and her daughters.

“I really thought it was cool. I really thought it was awesome, ”said Mullinax.

At El Club in southwest Detroit, Dustin Oliver also spread love. The founder of Detroit Youth and Dog Rescue and a group of volunteers have filled their stomachs this Thanksgiving for the eighth year now.

“Oh, that means everything. That is, giving back for me is really the part that makes life the part that happens, ”explained Oliver.

“And the young people come and keep coming, and I know that she (a youngster standing next to Oliver) is looking forward to it. And to be able to share with food and everything, that’s perfect. That’s what Thanksgiving really should be, ”he added.

Oliver has stated that this Christmas will also be the eighth year he will be offering a Christmas dinner.

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