Over 700 homebound seniors to receive Thanksgiving meals, goodie bags

A team of CAC volunteers spent the day organizing goodie bags that will be delivered with Thanksgiving meals.
A team of volunteers spent the day organizing goodie bags that will be delivered with Thanksgiving meals
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:21 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A record number of deliveries will hit doorsteps across East Tennessee this Thanksgiving.

Preparations are underway at Knoxville’s Community Action Committee for the organization’s Mobile Meals deliveries on Thanksgiving. That’s where they drop off Thanksgiving foods to area senior citizens who are homebound.

“This Thursday, we’re actually going to be delivering to probably over 700 homebound seniors who have nowhere else to be on Thanksgiving day,” said Sara Keel, the Community Engagement Manager for Mobile Meals.

Keel said that’s a record-high for Thanksgiving. She said it’s likely due to the fact that there are more seniors in the area and a greater need since the pandemic.

Keel said a lot of the food is all set and is stored in a large fridge inside the Mobile Meals building.

On Tuesday, a team of volunteers from 21st Mortgage put together goodie bags to go with the food.

The bags contain fruit, snacks, crafts and hand-written notes from East Tennessee students.

“It’s just a really special and personalized way to show our seniors that they’re appreciated and that we care about them,” said Keel.

An operation this big takes a big effort. Keel estimates somewhere between 100 and 150 volunteers will help deliver the meals on Thanksgiving and cover about 75 routes throughout Knox County.

Once Thanksgiving is over, CAC will immediately turn its attention to Christmas.

“We like to put together big gifts that are donated from our friends across the community,” Keel said.

Those gifts will go out to homebound seniors on Christmas day.

Keel said they’re going to need the volunteers and donations to get through the rest of the holiday season, especially since they deliver meals on weekdays too.