CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Local churches, organizations, and citizens showed the true meaning of Thanksgiving Thursday when they came together to provide a home-cooked meal to anyone in the area who needed it.
The pastor at Temple Baptist Church Jim Pilcher says today's meal was a community effort.
"We all came together as a group of Christians but also as community leaders to come together to meet the needs of our community," Pilcher said. "It's not just for people who are without but also people that might be lonely, people that don't have any companionship this time of year. We just want them to know that somebody cares, somebody loves them."
Pilcher says Pemiscot County has one of the highest poverty levels in the state, and even nationwide.
"Last year we served around 300 people," Pilcher said. "This year I expect it'll be more. We have a lot of carry outs, senior adults or people who can't get out, the disabled. We also have people that come in and eat. It's not just people that might be homeless or poor. It's also people that just don't have anyone for the holidays. They can be with other people and sit around and talk and just fellowship with one another."
The pastor at Jesus Name Tabernacle Richard Lee says all the volunteers' hard work pays off when they see what this meal means to people in the community.
"You can see it on their face, they're very grateful and thankful that someone cares enough [to do this], especially the elderly that don't have people who come around and visit or don't have family close by," Lee said. "You can see it on their faces, just the joy knowing that someone cares."
The superintendent at Caruthersville school district says she sees the needs of families in the area every day.
"We have a high free and reduced lunch rate. About 78 percent of our students are on free and reduced lunch," J.J. Bullington said, "This community always finds a way to come together to when there's a need, just very many caring people in this community."
Volunteers say the goal of today's meal was to show everyone the community that someone cares about them.
"We've put out door hangers all through the community just trying to get as many to come and just trying to spread the love of God to our community," Lee said.