Woodland Hills neighborhood church continues to provide Thanksgiving meals throughout NE Ohio

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 5:44 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Rubin Swift, along with the Cathedral Church of God in Christ, provided thousands of ready-made Thanksgiving meals for those in need around the city.

“We’re helping people really eat Thanksgiving meals, and letting them know we love them,” Swift said.

Those interested in a meal can also visit Mount Zion Congregational Church this Thursday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and pick up food from their vehicle.

This is the 20th year where Swift has prepared meals for the community.

The two-week operation, which begins with cooking dozens of turkeys, leads up to today, and Swift is not wasting time.

“We’re doing [meals] 500 right now and we’ve delivered 80 so far,” he said, just after 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The church member admitted he’s only slept for 3 hours in the midst of his cooking spree, but both he and supply minister Emmitt Nevels agree that it’s worth it.

“There’s so many people who don’t have the opportunity to eat such a good meal like we’ve prepared,” Nevels said.

The meal program is also focused on delivering meals directly to those in need, reaching as far as Collinwood within Cleveland and even out to Lorain County.

Swift is also certain prepared meals are better than meal kits, which assumes those in need are able to prepare them at home.

“Most churches give out boxed food,” Swift explained, “if you’re truly homeless, or you’re depressed, or [you] don’t have your gas on, these boxed meals—they can’t be used.”

For the church, this is also a heavyhearted food drive: the first without Bishop Mark Perry, the man Swift looked up to as a father figure.

“It’s rough, but we’re making it happen, I know what he would want us to do is to never give up,” he said.

For Swift, today will also serve as a reminder to be thankful for time: “Time is precious, you can’t get back the time that you give.”

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