Salvation Army continues Thanksgiving meal tradition

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 7:09 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – On Thursday, more than 20 volunteers helped serve meals at the Rochester Salvation Army.

“We set up for about 175. We cooked enough Turkey for 175,” said Maj. Lisa Mueller.

Guests were able to enjoy traditional Thanksgiving food like turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mixed vegetables.

There was also plenty of pie.

“Apple and Pumpkin and Pecan Pie,” Mueller said.

Some guests who received the dinner needed a warm meal. Others attended to be around others.

“I am all alone now my wife is in the nursing home, and I just needed to see some people on the holiday,” said Al Stiles.

“We’re meeting that need for people that just don’t have the means or they would have to choose between ‘Do I put a Thanksgiving meal on the table? Or, do I pay this bill?’ ... and the second group of people maybe doesn’t want to be alone on Thanksgiving or doesn’t have a welcoming place to be,” Mueller said.

The volunteers at the dinner served the guests restaurant-style by bringing the meals and drinks to each table. Some volunteers were as young as nine and 10 years old.

“It’s really important to help people who don’t have homes or are lonely,” said 10-year-old Lydia Ehlenfeldt.

She served meals with her nine-year-old brother Vincent.

Their father bought them so they could learn an important message.

“They don’t understand this happens around here and that so many people need the help, so I really want them to see there’s more that we can do to help people,” Blake Ehlenfeldt said.

Overall, the Salvation Army wants its guests to know that they’re cared for.

“This day is not all that different from every other day of their life except maybe a little more difficult because of the holiday because I lot of other places aren’t open, and that’s why we’re here doing the things that we do,” Mueller said.

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