JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of a Jonesboro holiday tradition. But people are still wanting to be fed.
On Aug. 11, organizers of the Jonesboro Community Thanksgiving Meal announced on social media they would cancel this year’s dinner.
They made the decision after consulting with several members of the health community, as well as committee members.
“We feel that the COVID virus, without a vaccine at this time, would be putting the community at risk,” the post stated.
Despite the earlier announcement, organizers say people are still seeking a holiday meal.
“People are inundating the First United Methodist Church in Jonesboro with telephone calls, ordering meals delivered to their homes on Thanksgiving Day,” said Richard Carvell on Tuesday, Nov. 3. “But, alas, there will be no meals delivered on that day.”
He reiterated that continuing the 20-year tradition “would put folks in our community at risk, especially given the current virus situation in our part of the state.”
Since Oct. 20, Craighead County and much of Northeast Arkansas have been in the “red zone” for new COVID-19 cases, according to the White House Coronavirus Task Force report obtained by ABC News.
For 20 years, volunteers and members of various churches have gathered to serve a hot, Thanksgiving meal to the hungry, the homeless, and the lonely.
Last year, at least 500 volunteers served turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and pie to 1,800 people.