A Different Take on DECC Thanksgiving Event

While the DECC Thanksgiving Buffet didn't happen this year in its usual fashion, organizers still felt the need to give back to the community and instead, gave out a couple thousand meals.

DULUTH, Minn. – While the DECC Thanksgiving Buffet didn’t happen this year in its usual fashion, organizers still felt the need to give back to the community and instead, gave out a couple of thousand meals.

Typically, 4,000 people are fed in the DECC ballroom on Thanksgiving Day, but this year, bagged meals were distributed to-go for the holiday.

“It’s always great to give back to the community and especially now during COVID, everybody would just like a little sense of normalcy and so, you know, f you can’t afford or don’t have the means to get a meal, and you can get a nice Thanksgiving meal just to put a little normalcy back into life,” said Bernard McCarthy.

McCarthy is the owner of Twin Ports railer Trash and using his truck, he helped give out the DECC Thanksgiving Buffet bagged meals at the Damiano Center.

“It feels great to give back,” said McCarthy. “The community embraced us and is just so great to us, so anytime we get a chance to give back, it always feels really good.”

He personally helped distribute about 100 meals.

Each meal had a sandwich, a roll, and other goodies along with instructions on how to heat the meal.

About 2,300 bagged meals were prepped and sent out around Duluth with any delivered to CHUM and the Duluth Harbor House.

“A lot of people said that if you didn’t do this, we wouldn’t have had a meal today,” said Monica Hendrickson, the event organizer. “And that’s really what it’s about is trying to help out everyone that needs it no matter what their income level is. We’re just here to help.”

Organizers say they’re incredibly happy to have been able to continue this tradition of giving back through good food this year, even if it looked different because of the pandemic.

“We’re exhausted but also very emotional because we did not think we were going to be able to do this this year,” said Hendrikson. “It’s one of those events that we are all committed to year-round, and to make this happen, means the world to us.”

The remaining 30 meals that weren’t distributed were given to an organization in Superior.

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