Kathy Heindl (right) loads cranberry sauce into a tray assembled by Regan Evans (left) at a drive-through Thanksgiving meal event hosted by the Salvation Army on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kathy Heindl (right) loads cranberry sauce into a tray assembled by Regan Evans (left) at a drive-through Thanksgiving meal event hosted by the Salvation Army on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Thanksgiving on the go

Salvation Army hands out meals in drive-thru event

More than 130 Thanksgiving meals were distributed to the community Thursday as part of a drive-thru event hosted by the Salvation Army Kenai Corps. While snow fell, volunteers ran bags of meals back and forth from the corps’ administration building in Kenai to waiting cars.

Inside, volunteers assembled meals buffet-style: Some ladled gravy over mashed potatoes while others piled on cranberry sauce. The event was made possible by multiple community stakeholders: Alaska Community College sanitized the station throughout; Homer Electric Association peeled potatoes; and the Kenai Rotary Club helped deliver meals, Brandon Kyle, Salvation Army Kenai Peninsula Corps captain, said Monday.

Alyson Evans, who helped assemble and shuttle meals with her family, said that Thursday was her first time volunteering for Thanksgiving but that she was having fun and wants to do it again next year. Evans said her favorite part of volunteering was running meals out to people.

“(It was) very cold,” Evans said, adding that she’d like to volunteer again next year.

Kyle said they also worked to make available more opportunities for young people to get involved. His two young sons handed off meals for part of the day. The corps hosted a Thanksgiving Minecraft Charity stream, where people created a Thanksgiving meal in Minecraft and sent in a picture to be featured on a livestream.

The event, which ran from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed the deployment of a fleet of vehicles that delivered meals upon request to people who are homebound or who did not have a way to get to the event. Kyle said last year’s event was slightly modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but still saw a large turnout of about 145 people. This year, Kyle said they expected around 180 people.

“We’re prepared,” Kyle said Monday.

In all, the Salvation Army Kenai Corps distributed 137 meals on Thanksgiving.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

Carter Kyle (left), Lincoln Kyle (center) and Brandon Kyle (right) hand off Thanksgiving meals at a drive through event hosted by the Salvation Army on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

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