American Rescue Workers of Williamsport hand out Thanksgiving dinners

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Communities across the region are doing a little more to give back this Thanksgiving holiday.

One organization has doubled the number of meals distributed this year. The American Rescue Workers (ARW) in Williamsport work around the clock the feed the community, but Thursday they’re doing even more.

“We’re having our community Thanksgiving food distribution. We’re doing it drive-through style to try to do our best to keep people safe in the community,” ARW director of development and community engagement Valerie Fessler said.

Cars pulled up to the building and volunteers handed out plates of food and a slice of pie. In years past, they gave out 200 meals but this year they decided to more than double their efforts.

“Since we saw the increased need over our food pantry, we kind of figured the people who visit the food pantry are also the people coming to get these meals. So, we knew. Previously we’ve done 200 meals, we knew that it’s going to have to be increased this year. So we’re prepared for 500,” ARW marketing and community engagement coordinator Kendra Parke said.

Known around the building as Chief Mark, he prepared 48 turkeys over multiple days and cooked all the sides. He says making and storing the food was a challenge, but it was a labor of love.

“Thanksgiving is a word of action. So, I am doing cooking that I love, I’m also feeding families in the community so I’m giving back and that makes me feel so good,” Williams said.

Volunteers were happy to lend a hand and say the holiday is all about helping others.

“People get fed that don’t necessarily have family around or things like that, but to help them out and make sure they have a good Thanksgiving Day holiday,” American Legion Riders Muncy president Michael Bennett said.

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