NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk church spent Thanksgiving Day giving back to people in need of a holiday meal.
Calvary Revival Church usually holds a Thanksgiving meal inside its doors, but because of the pandemic, the congregation packed up hundreds of dinners to give away drive-thru style.
“We’re not doing what we normally do. We would normally have three to five hundred upstairs. We’d have a full program for them with music and dancing and all that good stuff with giveaways,” said Bishop Courtney McBath. “With the pandemic, we’ve been forced outside. We’re outside and probably doing this with three times as many people.”
McBath, who’s been with Calvary Revival for almost 31 years, says it’s been a busy year for them. The church feeds and gives out groceries regularly to those in need.
“It’s been crazy. One Saturday, (we had) 3,000 people, 900 households. It’s amazing to see the level of need and people in these lines for food, who would never have thought to be at this point. I hope this creates a new level of compassion in the hearts for people in need. For us, we’re grateful God has provided for us through our wonderful partners to be able to reach out to as many people as we can. As long as they need us, we’ll be here,” he said.
The pick-up at Calvary Revival was just one of four locations across the city where meals were distributed.
Bobby Flournoy, who came to pick up a meal, expressed gratitude for the event.
“I’m very thankful,” he said about getting a dinner. “God is good.”
Flourney, who was appreciative of the fast lines and charity from the church, says he planned on enjoying his meal alone.
“I’m going home by myself,” he laughed.
It’s putting a new meaning on having a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
McBeth hopes that the pandemic has shown us what we should all show gratitude toward.
“Well for one, it’s shown us that even when things we thought we had to have are not here, there’s still so much to live for,” he said. “There’s so much we’ve forget about and failed to be grateful for. So I think one thing it’s done is lifted up the simple things like family, relationships, and friendships. the things a pandemic can’t take away from us.”
McBath believes between 1,500 to 2,000 people received their meals.
The church is already planning to help those affected by COVID-19 as well as the homeless and children of incarcerated parents this Christmas season.
While Calvary Revival will not feed the community this Saturday, McBath says they’ll be back next week.
“People aren’t just hungry on Thanksgiving. They’re hungry every day,” he said.
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