PINE BLUFF, Ark. — In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, several local organizations in Pine Bluff are catering to their community. Volunteers hosted their annual Thanksgiving dinner by bringing hot meals to those who need them or are spending the holiday alone.
“The goal is for no person in the community to be hungry on Thanksgiving day,” executive director of What’s Next Pine Bluff, Nathaniel Baker said.
What’s Next Pine Bluff is a local mentoring organization, but Thursday they are making food to help feed people across town.
Volunteers made more than 300 meals and said they are focusing on groups who are often forgotten about.
“No one should be hungry on Thanksgiving day, the greatest gift is to give,” Baker said.
This is their 6th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, and they had an all new high for people working.
“It blessed my heart so much today to see people just rolling into work,” volunteer Ginny Heisler said. “We have I think I counted seven different organizations.”
Some of those volunteers, are delivering meals to people.
“It’s a blessing from God,” a woman who received a meal at a local nursing home, Easter O’Neal said.
Volunteers went door to door to greet people and give them dinner and desert.
“We are so thankful for y’all, thinking about us to bring us food,” O’Neal said. “You don’t know how well this for us doing, means to us.”
Some people were so excited, they broke out into song and volunteers couldn’t resist to join in too.
This year, Heisler said the focus is to serve those who they believe are often marginalized.
“We prioritized our women shelters, our halfway houses, there’s a group home for boys here, and nursing homes,” Heisler said.
They hope by serving good food, they can spread holiday spirit.
“We know what good food do to people, and good food, soothes the soul,” Baker said.
The work isn’t done just yet. Now Baker said they will focus on Christmas and plan to organize a wish list for students within the Pine Bluff School District. He said he wants to make sure no child feels forgotten on that holiday, he plans to make a list and see who would like to donate so every student can have a gift.
We will update you on how you can help with this mission when more details become available.