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Douglas County businesses and organizations feed hungry for Thanksgiving

Free meals were distributed in Roseburg, Riddle and Canyonville.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 5:25 PM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore.—Despite the pandemic, various businesses and organizations made sure no one went hungry this Thanksgiving.

In Roseburg, the Jersey Lily Bar and Grill served free meals to their customers. The owner told KEZI 9 News that it’s been a tradition for the last 13 years, and they had no plans on stopping this year.

“In the last 13 years, they’ve been able to come in and sit down,” said owner Robert Parnell. “This year is a little different.”

Parnell said this has been a tough year for his business because of the pandemic, and more so now because of the two-week freeze. However, he said he was determined to make the meal happen.

“A lot of them said they’ve never been here before, and they’ve very greatful,” he said. “Some of them said they didn’t even have money.”

In Riddle, volunteers from the Oregon Coast Outreach served meals to the community.

The Coos Bay-based organization is dedicated to feeding the less fortunate in Douglas and Coos Counties. Director Kermit Gaston said they came to Riddle after a local business owner expressed how much it was needed.

“We’re supposed to show the love of god and that’s what I do,” he said. I come out, show them the love and I feed them.”
Gaston said they prepared more than 200 meals and they expect to hand out all of it.

In Canyonville, Hillside Christian Full Gospel Church also gave out free meals. However, volunteers said they were determined to make it as safe as possible.
They created their own take-out system at the church. They used two windows, one for ordering and the other for pick up.

Normally, volunteers said they would serve the meal at the Riddle Community Center and allow people to dine in. However, due to Governor Kate Brown’s two-week freeze, they said they had to find an alternative.

“There’s a lot of people out there who can’t get together with their family, and their counting on this meal,” said pastor Larry Widener.

They also provided delivery to homes all over southern Douglas County.

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