‘This is a wonderful place:’ St. Augustine provides Thanksgiving meals to 21,000

CLEVELAND-- From packing to serving to delivering Thanksgiving meals, St. Augustine Church in Tremont will be doing it all with the help of dozens of volunteers, including Ronald Hudson.

Now retired from the U.S. Marine Corps, he has been donating his time for 17 years.

"They feed people here every day, three meals a day, 365 days a year. This is a wonderful place," Hudson said.

In just hours, the place will take on even greater meaning.

Thousands will be fed Thanksgiving dinner at the West 14th Street site and at several other locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

Out of the 21,000 people that will be fed, 8,000 will be delivered meals to those who don't leave their homes.

Drivers to deliver those meals are still needed for this mission, now in its 44th consecutive year; guided largely by Sister Corita Ambros.

She said turning people away has never been an option.

"A lot of people still on hard times. In fact, one family that comes in every single day, said to me the other day you know, if I didn't have this meal, and they come in three times a day, she says I wouldn't be able to pay my utilities," Ambros said.

Volunteers will be in abundance, all willing to lend a hand for a day we give thanks.

"This is a wonderful ministry and it speaks to the generosity of Clevelanders of all faiths to come together and take care of those in need or those who are lonely, those. who need a helping hand," said Patrick Gareau, president of Catholic Charities.

St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church