SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — One year ago, the Syracuse Rescue Mission had to place a capacity limit on the number of people allowed to attend its annual Thanksgiving meal for the first time in history. Under Onondaga County’s COVID-19 guidelines, the nonprofit could only serve a limited number of meals in-person before turning to takeout only.
But this year, Gina Rapasadi, Director of Special Events, said the mission is opening its doors to anyone who needs a meal on Thanksgiving Day.
“They’ll go through hundreds of pounds of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pies, so much for the community,” Rapasadi said. “But, it’s a great way to help those that are in need in Onondaga County and then also here on our campus.”
Funding for the holiday season comes in part from the Rescue Mission’s Scan-Away Hunger campaign, where shoppers can add a $2.34 coupon to their bill at participating locations, including Nichols in Liverpool, nine Wegmans supermarkets and 19 Thrifty Shoppers, to provide a fully prepared meal for a man, woman or child.
With these donations, the Rescue Mission also delivers over 2,000 Thanksgiving meals to the elderly and homebound every year. Rapasadi said this year’s meal delivery will run at full capacity with the help of volunteers like Cory Sullivan.
Sullivan has delivered meals every Thanksgiving for over a decade. The Cicero resident said the rewarding feeling of helping his neighbors in need makes the early morning deliveries across the county worth it.
“If you make one person or two people happy that day, you’ve done your part,” Sullivan said. “Making sure these people get their meals, are gonna have something to eat, you’ve done your part.”
With the support of volunteers, the Rescue Mission hopes to continue its vision of putting love into action one plate and one stomach at a time.