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MAKING A MARK: Chesapeake group hosts drive-thru Thanksgiving dinner

Buffalow Family and Friends Community Days is in its 11th year providing meals for Thanksgiving, but dinner service is different during the pandemic.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — COVID-19 won’t stop Nischelle Buffalow and her team from giving back again this Thanksgiving.

Since 2010, her group, Buffalow Family and Friends Community Days (BFF), has spent the days leading up to the holiday gathering and preparing meals for people in need across Chesapeake. 

This year, from the cooking to the community dinner, things look different. 

"It will just be a drive-thru and more delivery service than ever this year," said Buffalow.

Usually, volunteers serve people in Buffalow's backyard on Thanksgiving Day. This year, she said more than one thousand meals would be available for pickup or delivery. 

"We've been serving 250 meals a day since March. So, during Thanksgiving, it's not going to be any different," said Buffalow. "We actually just opened up a community pantry in South Norfolk. So, that's where they'll be able to pick up their meals from on Thanksgiving Day."

Also, like in years past, BFF will bring plates right to the doorsteps of senior citizens on the holiday. 

"Our seniors have always had that food insecurity," said Buffalow. "A lot of seniors don't do a lot of cooking, so they look forward to the meal."

The pandemic may have caused the group to change course this year, but Buffalow said canceling the dinner was never an option — because the community needs it now more than ever. 

"We're here for them through the pandemic and to take care of their basic needs. And that's what we stand for-- taking care of the basic needs of the community," said Buffalow.

Anyone can pick up a meal from the BFF Community Pantry at 2307 Bainbridge Blvd. from 12-2 p.m. on Thanksgiving, or you can request a meal delivery. The group is also accepting volunteers and donations. 

For more information, call 757.739.5222 or visit www.buffalowfamily.org.