ROANOKE RAPIDS

Folks were in line, Friday, outside the Union Mission for the free Thanksgiving dinner food giveaway.

It was an answer to the missions’s annual Thanksgiving banquet that was cancelled due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements.

Recently, mission Executive Director, Sabrina Lawson, sent out a call to the public for donations of hams, turkeys, collards, cabbage and sweet potatoes. And they are still coming in, Lawson said. She and Associate Director Charley Howell; mission helper Shelton Tenor; and mission chef Jamar Mayes; focused on last-minute details for distributing the food to the members of the public, Friday, who waited in front of the building.

Bags and boxes overflowed from room to room, and the chapel was full of greens.

“We have really been doing some greens,” she said, surrounded by the bunches of collards. “We are working hard and we picked greens all week for our people so they can have some good collard greens.“

The mission provided the first 100 residents that showed up between 1 and 3 p.m. on Friday, a box including a ham or turkey, collards or cabbage and sweet potatoes, all of which had to be cooked at home.

In addition, the folks who have signed up for the mission cooperative plan, receiving food twice a month, will also receive the Thanksgiving dinner items this week and next week, Lawson said.

“We provided them with the same things so they can have a Thanksgiving dinner at home as well,” she said.