Chesapeake woman celebrates a decade of free Thanksgiving meals


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A local nonprofit is celebrating a decade of serving the South Norfolk community.

The Buffalow Family and Friends Thanksgiving dinner is a “labor of love” that’s grown over the years.

Organizer Nischelle Buffalow started the dinner in her backyard in 2010, after she noticed the soup kitchens were closed on the holiday.

“We started with 25 [people], today we are expected to feed 600 individuals,” Buffalow said. “I’m just amazed … I never thought that in 10 years that it would get this big.”

Volunteers from all over Hampton Roads pitch in to help. 
This year, the group served four senior living communities. Three food trucks partnered with the organization to take food to Chesapeake Crossing Senior’s Community.

“It’s reaching out to those who are in need on Thanksgiving Day,” Buffalow said.

Also, culinary students from the Now You’re Cooking studio made the sides.
Alyson ‘Tennessee’ Holbert has been a dedicated volunteer over the years and said the group is more like family.

“Why sit at home when you can help people that are less fortunate? These people are very grateful,” Holbert said.

A single mom of two boys, Veronica Haiden started coming to the annual dinner four years ago.

“It means a lot, it’s the community coming together. We always have a lot of fun out here. The boys like to help,” Haiden said.

Buffalow hopes to partner with Chesapeake Regional Healthcare to have her own building by the spring of 2020.

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