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In The Midst of Floods and Feasts Comes Thanksgiving in Charleston
11/25/2015 11:14:25 AM

C.A. Brown Alumni Association members prepared food baskets for distribution to area senior citizens for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church Members feed Thanksgiving dinners to Eastside residents November 21.
By Barney Blakeney

After the deluge of rain that soaked South Carolina in historic proportions, the arrival of the Thanksgiving holiday means different things to many. And for thousands it will mean the provision of bountiful meals that began Nov. 16 as various groups provided dinners to residents around the area.

Nov. 16 South Carolina Department of Social Services provided Disaster-Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefits to eligible households in the aftermath of the flood disaster. Recipient households had to live in the disaster area, have incurred damage or harm from the disaster and meet D-SNAP income limits of $16,40 for one person and $347 for each additional person.

To many of those who were eligible for the benefits the supplemental nutritional assistance meant meals for the Thanksgiving holiday and beyond.

“Money” of North Charleston, a retired city employee, said he and his wife will use the benefits to restock their freezer, but don’t really need the additional food. While “Al”, an empty nester in North Charleston who was not eligible for the benefits said her children’s return home for the holidays means she must find resources to buy food for the holidays. “Lee”, another empty nester whose daughter recently retired and returned to North Charleston to live with her mother also was ineligible. She said, “Maybe next time.”

Numerous local organizations provided food baskets and/or served pre-Thanksgiving meals Saturday. The C.A. Brown High School Alumni Association provided 10 turkeys and 10 food baskets to area residents in addition to their annual donation of gifts to Ronald McDonald House in downtown Charleston.

At the Mall Playground across the street from Trident Technical College’s Palmer Campus formerly the site of C.A. Brown High, Agape Inner-City Christian Assembly provided its 24th annual Feeding of the Multitude.

Along with cosponsors the Feeding of the Multitude also served approximately 1,800 meals at St. John Church on Johns Island, The Church of the Good Shepherd in West Ashley and Christ Church in Mount Pleasant. The coalition of churches also provided 600 meals to residents at the Canterbury House and Joseph Floyd Manor in downtown Charleston.

The ladies of Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church on Cooper Street in Charleston served some 200 meals that consisted of turkey, rice, gravy, ham, mac and cheese, string beans, corn bread, cake, a soft drink - all prepared with a lot of lovin’ to Eastside residents.

And at Trinity World Outreach Ministries on King Street in Charleston, the congregation held the last of its three times yearly seafood fest for 2015. Diners were asked to donate a canned food item to attend the free seafood dinner. The YWCA of Greater Charleston again this year partnered with Project Street Outreach to hold its annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner at King’s Bistro on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. They served over 100 diners in the parking lot at Rivers and Reynolds avenues.

Rev. Charles Stanley of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. during his weekly message offered that during this season of football, feasting and being first at the mall, there sometimes is more interest in gold than in God. But the holiday that President Abraham Lincoln declared a national holiday in 1863 which originated in 1621 when the pilgrims feasted in thanksgiving also should be a time to give thanks for our intangible spiritual gifts, he said.

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