Miami Valley Meals was initially started to provide food to those struggling as a result of the pandemic. Last year for Thanksgiving, Amanda DeLotelle, executive director of the organization, said they gave away 10,000 meals to community members for the holiday. This year, they’re handing out even more.
“Matt DeAngulo, our culinary director, he really takes all of his experience of doing many catering events throughout the year to really ramp up our production,” said DeLotelle. “So he’s made a plan so that over Saturdays and throughout our regular work week we will be able to increase our capacity to make those additional meals.”
That extra work she said, is expected to contribute to the production of 15,000 meals for families this Thanksgiving.
Members of the Feast of Giving board partnered to help bring that vision to life after the space where it normally holds Thanksgiving dinner, the Dayton Convention Center, closed down due to COVID.
“We donated from the Feast of Giving $59,000 to help them basically cover the cost of the meals, and we hope next year that this pandemic will be over and we will be back in a place like the convention center, said Stephen Levitt, M.D., a team leader for the organization.
On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, community members can pick up meals from the same two takeaway locations as last year — University of Dayton Arena and Trotwood Madison High School.
“Our goal for the Thanksgiving meals is to have traditional items like turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, lots of gravy and the dessert by Daybreak that’s going to be the pumpkin rolls,” DeLotelle said.
The organization also added additional locations at Omega Baptist Church and the Dayton Boys and Girls Club to serve smaller volumes of community members.
DeLotelle said there are no specific eligibility requirements for who can receive meals, and employees have already started to prepare for the large scale food giveaway. But she said others are welcome to join in and help throughout the process.
“We’re gonna open up some volunteer positions to help us out, especially on the day of. It takes a lot of people to make this go off without a hitch. And we want to make sure we give efficient and happy service and we know that there’s so many people in Dayton that just want to give their time and their hearts to those in need and we appreciate them greatly.”
To learn more about Miami Valley Meals’ Thanksgiving distribution, click here.