SALEM, OR – Though it was below freezing Thanksgiving morning, the sun was shining.

Under the rays, nearly 150 people in need gathered under the Marion Street Bridge to get a Thanksgiving meal from the Feed the Need food truck event.

One man, after having filled a bag of food, said, “I’m blinded,” referring to the striking sun.

“Yeah, it’s very bright today,” I replied.

He smiled and said, “In more ways than one.”

This was the general feeling of the event — joy, kindness and generosity. Those receiving food were very appreciative, as were those volunteering.

As one person thanked a volunteer, the volunteer responded, “No, thank you.

People overwhelmingly treated each other with dignity, as those in need chose what holiday fixings they preferred.

I was even asked if I would give out hugs. I happily obliged.

Volunteers, both food truck owners and other locals, gave out a full to-go meal, served in a paper bag, which could include hot turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, fresh baked rolls, pies — many of which were donated by fellow community members two days before — water and other beverages. There were stations with hot coffee, toiletry kits, and food for pets as well.

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