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Volunteers pack Thanksgiving meals at Lambeau

Volunteers pack Thanksgiving meals at Lambeau
Posted at 6:26 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 22:27:15-05

GREEN BAY (NBC26) -- Families will not gather in Lambeau Field for an annual meal, but one group is continuing its mission to make sure local families have food this holiday.

Although the packing and distribution for the Christian Outreach's Ecumenical Thanksgiving Dinner is different because of the pandemic, hundreds of area families will still receive Thanksgiving meals.

Equipped with gloves, hair nets and face masks, around 20 volunteers lined up inside the kitchen at Johnsonville Tailgate Village Wednesday afternoon to put hot meals together. They scooped stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and turkey into containers.

Earlier volunteers packed cold meals, which consist of cranberries, a bun, juice and coleslaw.

A total of 2,200 meals will be given out to 687 homes in Green Bay and De Pere.

“It has been absolutely amazing to see how the group has been able to transform our normal meal delivery for 1,100 into 2,200 meals," said Amanda Wery, community outreach senior coordinator with the Green Bay Packers.

Due to the pandemic, the group will not host its usual in-person Thanksgiving dinner inside the Atrium. The event can draw up to 900 people on a normal year, not including the 350 volunteers that usually help throughout the process.

Instead, around 80 drivers will deliver the meals to people's homes.

“It was a hard decision. We went back and forth, actually quite a bit," said Jessica Zeitler, president of Christian Outreach Thanksgiving Ministry. “It’s worth making sure that people are able to receive the meals.”

It's a need Zeitler said they're seeing more of this year, as requests for meals filled up three weeks ago.

"We didn't get quite as many from the agencies. We saw more of a need from the general public. So that's where we saw a big change in that way and also filling up as early as we did,"

It's a different event with the same goal: To make sure families have food to put on the table this Thanksgiving.

Thirty volunteers will count and bag the pre-cooked meals starting at 9 a.m. Thursday. Zeitler said they hope to get them all distributed by 1 p.m.