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Thousands receive free meals at Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Thousands of Oklahomans got free meals at Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Shardaa Gray/KOKH

Thousands of Oklahomans had the chance to get a free meal this Thanksgiving Day. Volunteers at the University of Central Oklahoma fed nearly 2,300 people. It was a constant pace at Nigh University Center.

Some of you might be enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, but others aren't so fortunate.

From a place to sit and eat, to delivering meals to the shut-in; more than 600 volunteers gave up their time to feed about 2,300 Oklahomans.

“I think giving back for a couple of hours out of our day is more important than staying home and doing what we want to do,” said volunteer, Jenka Acuna.

This is the 36th year since First Presbyterian Church hosted the Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner. Initially, they started serving dinners at their church, then it spread to other churches like John the Baptist Catholic Church. Eventually they started holding the dinners on the campus at UCO.

Dolph Grolock has been coming to this Thanksgiving dinner for 10 years and said, he's seen the number grow.

“I've been coming here, as long as it's been here, I've been coming here from Luther and have really enjoyed it,” Grolock said.

Thursday, they delivered 425 meals to shut-ins. 116 turkeys were donated from Citizens Bank of Edmond, including tons of side dishes, such as corn, green beans and stuffing.

“It's fantastic. It's beyond my expectation,” said Yualye Ma.

Yualye Ma told FOX 25 this is her first time coming to the Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

“We wanted to have a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. And our friends said, UCO has this opportunity. So we bring them here,” Ma said.

It's a time to give thanks and make new friends.

“It's an opportunity to meet all races and all languages right here in this one spot,” said Golock.

Volunteers told FOX 25 they don't plan to change much next year, maybe just tweak some things behind the scenes, but they say they hope to get the same size of a crowd next year, maybe even bigger.

Any food that's leftover will be donated to the Jesus House at the end of the day.

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