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Chesapeake nonprofit to distribute 1,700+ meals this Thanksgiving

On a day to give thanks, there are people in Hampton Roads deciding to give meals.
Credit: 13News Now

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Organization Buffalow Family & Friends Community Days has a community food pantry in Chesapake.

Lately, they've recognized a great need in some of the area's elderly population.

"They're our most vulnerable population, so that's who we're reaching out to more," said CEO & Founder Nischelle Buffalow. "They have no family. They have no transportation."

In addition to a planned drive-thru distribution outside the pantry, the nonprofit plans to deliver Thanksgiving meals in the Chesapeake Crossing neighborhood Thursday.

"At least they'll have a nice, hot meal and someone to say 'happy thanksgiving' to them when it's delivered," said Buffalow.

Volunteers have already handed out approximately 700 meals Tuesday and Wednesday.

Each meal has all the traditional Thanksgiving foods like turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, rolls and dessert. 

More were bagged up on Wednesday. 

"I feel great. I feel like what I'm giving today, somebody will give it back to me one day," said volunteer Ameyaw Obarima.

Obarima is currently serving in the U.S. Navy. "I feel part of the community myself," he said. 

He joined colleagues and took his son along to serve in a different way—packing meals.

On Thursday, the organization also plans to distribute close to 1,000 meals to families, seniors or anyone in need outside the pantry.

Volunteers will pass out the free Thanksgiving meals from noon to 2 p.m. at 2307 Bainbridge Blvd. in Chesapeake. It will be on a first-come, first-served basis. 

"This year, we are expecting more. We have had a lot of seniors that come into our pantry who tell us those who do have transportation that they will be up here to seek a meal on Thanksgiving Day," said Buffalow. 

Buffalow recalled serving 25 meals back in 2010. So on this Thanksgiving, she is grateful that the organization has expanded its reach. 

"Without help, partnerships, donations, we wouldn't be able to do this on a large scale like we are now," said Buffalow.

In a time when food prices are high and the pandemic wears on, Buffalow said she's also grateful for a generous community.  

“Everybody tries to do something to give back, even if they have just a little. A little goes a long way in serving," she added.