The ministry, located at 933 Roswell St. just west of the Big Chicken, provides lunch each Wednesday and dinner Thursday, as well as providing 25 boxes of food to families six days a week, said executive director the Rev. Donald Moore. But on Thanksgiving, the agency sees more demand than normal.
“(Thursday), we are serving those who don’t have a place to fix their own meal,” he said.
The 60 people fed Thursday is on top of the 195 Thanksgiving boxes delivered to needy residents earlier this week. The boxes include turkeys, as well as all the trimmings.
The Thanksgiving meal was served with the help of 30 volunteers, working in several shifts unloading two trucks, preparing the food, setting up the food service and cleaning up. Moore said the Whole Foods Market at Merchant’s Walk was very helpful.
“Not only did they donate bread, sweets and prepared dishes, some of their employees came over also,” Moore said.
Jennifer Denton of Marietta was among the Whole Foods employees to volunteer. She said it was humbling to give back after getting so much.
“I’m thankful for the love I have in my life, my family and the opportunity to be in the position I am in at work and at school,” said Denton, 24. “And to be able to help people less fortunate than I.”
People receiving food were also thankful.
“I’m thankful to be alive, I guess,” said Jack Ives, 57, who is homeless in Marietta. “I’m doing better than a lot of people. I’m on the streets, but it could be worse.”
Bill Tidwell, 67, said he lost his five-bedroom home in east Cobb after several accidents and now suffers from cancer and lives in the woods.
“My two degrees, with honors, and my football scholarship to Clemson didn’t help me one bit,” he said.
But he is still thankful.
“I am thankful for those nice people like them out there,” he said, pointing to Moore and the volunteers.
Moore said that In the Meantime raises money through a thrift store and furniture store, as well as a moving service and U-Haul truck rental. While some charities require clients to provide proof of income or residency information, his ministry serves anyone who asks for help.
“One day our lord and savior is going to ask, ‘Did you feed me, did you clothe me, did you come visit me?’ We want to answer yes,” Moore said. “Some churches want to patronize their own; we want to serve everybody, whether they’re homeless, white, black… Not to give us recognition or glory, but to please him.”