Valdosta churches feed the hungry - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta churches feed the hungry

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Nearly 1,000 people were given Thanksgiving meals in Valdosta today. Two local churches held massive feasts for anyone who wanted a warm meal.

About 300 hundred Valdostans walked through these doors, waiting for them was a Thanksgiving dinner at the Saint John AME Church.

"Valdosta has a big heart, it does. Especially at times like the holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, it really opens it's heart and people come out and it's a blessing," said Dolores McGill.

Church officials say 75-percent of the people who come here to eat are homeless. But many say they leave with more than they expected.

The church has set up three tables of donated clothing, so after people eat their Thanksgiving meal, they can come and stock up on some winter clothes.

But that's not all, they're also given a hair cut and shaving. And afterwards they're bussed to the Salvation Army to take a hot shower.

"Valdosta, I know for a fact, that nobody around here goes hungry because I believe you can go to anybody's house and get a meal. But for those who don't want to infringe on people's privacy, this is the place," said Assistant Pastor, Larry Smith.

And nearly 500 people were fed bagged lunches by the Park Avenue United Methodist Church. One man says he's never seen such kindness.

"I feel more welcome here in Georgia than I did in Pennsylvania. People are friendly and they treat you like family, and they don't know you and they'll start waving at you and saying 'hi,'" said Grant Stitt.

It was true southern hospitality here in Valdosta that sent nearly 1,000 people home with full stomachs.

The Saint John AME church says they've been feeding the hungry for ten years and will keep serving as long as people show up.

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