When a city gathers for food, prayer and community, the sky is the limit, said White Plains Commissioner Twink Williams.
At the community center in City Hall, close to 200 people were served a warm Thanksgiving meal by Landon's Hope and a crew of volunteers.
"There is such a need during the holidays. After I lost my son, my husband was out working, or he was with his family, and I was always alone," said Tammy Moore, founder and director of
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Landon's Hope. "I don't want anyone to be alone on the holidays. All of these people are special in one way or another."
This is the first year that the City of White Plains has partnered with Landon's Hope to host a community meal. Williams hopes this will continue and become a tradition for the area.
"All I can say is, White Plains is on the up, it's blessed," said Williams. "Tammy came to one of our meetings and wanted to start a food bank; we were just glad. Then she was like, 'How about we get together and try to feed people for Thanksgiving and Christmas?' I said that would be wonderful. Because anytime you can feed people for the holidays, we'll do whatever we got to do to make it possible."
Landon's Hope opened its food bank in October. Williams said the community dinner wouldn't have been possible without the help of the commissioners, the mayor, clerks and the inmates that helped clean up after the event.
"Also, working with Tammy and the food bank, none of this would have been possible, we've got to give her credit because she helps a lot of people," he said.
When people from the community sat down, they were greeted with a menu. Orders were taken and personalized with each person's name. Participants got to choose between ham or turkey, three sides and a dessert.
"Meals where personalized, I didn't think they would do that," said Williams. "I thought we'd go to the kitchen and help ourselves, but this makes it special. These people that are helping out are a blessing to us."
The meals were prepared and served by 18 volunteers.
"My son is a commissioner, and he said they might need help," said Williams' mother, Connie Williams, who helped in the kitchen during the event. "This is something me and him have always wanted to do, but couldn't afford to do, so I said I'd volunteer - I made peach cobbler and dressing."
After the meal, people who needed a winter coat were given one for free. They went over to Williams who showed them their choices.
"Whoever needs a coat, we're going to give them one," he said. "We're going to go through it and make sure it fits them and give them a coat, and I think that's awesome."
For those that attended, the dinner was a great way to be a part of the community.
"It was nice," said White Plains resident Corene Cardwell. "It really was nice, and the food was real good."
White Plains and Landon's Hope will hold their Inaugural Community Christmas Dinner Wednesday, Dec. 18.