Annual Hot Meals Event feeds thousands in Cleveland on Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 8:20 PM EST

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Most people look forward to spending the holidays with their families, but for some the holidays can be a cold, lonely time.

A community in Cleveland is continuing a Thanksgiving tradition, to offer a hot meal and a sense of family.

“I feel joy, I feel happy. They are here to help us out, feed us and stuff, keep us not hungry,” said Mike Burton.

Bringing a bit of happiness and joy this Thanksgiving to folks in Cleveland, a 50-year tradition continues.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland, St. Agustine Hunger Center, and Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center host its annual Hot Meals Event.

“They are very respectful. They treat you like you want to be treated,” said Mitchell Brown.

It’s much more than just a hot meal they offer, it’s a community, and a family.

“There’s really is a need for people to feel like they have a place they belong” said Trishelle Robinson, one volunteer.

This year, and for the last four years, Trishelle Robinson and her family volunteer every Thanksgiving, serving thousands of people.

She told 19 news she knows what it’s like to need an extra helping hand.

These Thanksgiving plates do much more than fill stomachs, it puts a smile on her face.

“What we do matters not just to the people that we serve but to us. It gives us satisfaction. Even with some of the people who volunteer and don’t have families, coming here gives them that family feel,” said Robinson.

On top of the thanksgiving meals, they serve at the centers, they also plan to deliver 6,000 meals to families at home.

Meghan Pitrak with Catholic Charities said the goal is to impact each person’s life.

“Being able to walk through the doors of our center or have a volunteer bring you a meal in your house and wish you a happy thanksgiving and show this love and care for you means everything” said Pitrak.

It’s more than a meal, more than a holiday... it’s a chance for those to feel they belong.