Thanksgiving is a time to help our neighbors

Beth KinnaneGet Up & Go

The holiday season is now upon us, and several local churches and businesses are offering free Thanksgiving meals for those in need. Many area residents are extra cash-strapped this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following are some of the options on Thanksgiving Day as well as organizations that need donations for ongoing food provision operations.

The Knox Vittles Food Truck is having a free Halls/Powell Thanksgiving Day Dinner from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Halls Shopping Center, 7020 Maynardville Pike. They will also be collecting non-perishable food items, toiletries and baby supplies for local blessing boxes.  If you would like to donate toward the event’s food, funds can be sent via Venmo @KnoxVittles or at

Colonial Heights United Methodist Church in South Knoxville is offering drive-through meals at 6321 Chapman Highway from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. An outdoor clothes closet will also be available on the front porch.

Go here to make a monetary donation to The Love Kitchen or to find out what kind of food and other items they need for distribution bags or to explore volunteer opportunities.

The Knoxville Area Rescue Ministry is open all day year round providing food, shelter and services for area homeless. You can donate to KARM to provide a meal here.

Visit the Second Harvest of East Tennessee website here to make a monetary donation or find a location to drop food items. Knoxville radio legend Billy Kidd, who recently passed, for years held Camping for Cans to raise money and food donations for Second Harvest.  This year the event goes on in his honor with a virtual donation site here. Second Harvest has a goal of raising $20,000, and currently isn’t halfway there with only 14 days to go.

Beth Kinnane is a freelance writer and thoroughbred bloodstock agent

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