COLUMBIA — Nineteen years ago, Almeta Crayton held the first Almeta Crayton's Everybody Eats Thanksgiving event.

Crayton, who was Columbia's first black councilwoman and a dedicated charity worker, died in 2013, but her legacy of helping the Columbia community lives on through Everybody Eats, an annual Thanksgiving meal free to the community.  

Almeta Crayton's Community Programs is preparing for the annual event, creating food baskets to give residents from Nov. 17-19.

The organization is still in need of turkeys for the baskets. Turkeys can be donated at Moser's Foods, 705 Business Loop 70 West. 

The organization requests boxed and canned traditional Thanksgiving foods: string beans, corn, macaroni, stuffing and Jiffy or cornbread mix. Monetary donations can be made in the form of cash, money orders or checks. Checks should be written out to Almeta Crayton Community Programs. 

Donations can be taken to the following locations:

  • Moser's Foods, 705 Business Loop 70 West — Accepting turkeys, other foods and monetary donations
  • Moser's Foods, 900 N. Keene St. — Accepting monetary donations
  • Almeta Crayton Office, 310 Tiger Lane Suite 101B — Accepting boxed and canned foods
  • P.O. Box 8164 — Accepting mailed boxed and canned foods and monetary donations

The organization hopes to have 155 volunteers for help with food preparation, decorations, delivering and giving out meals, cleaning, greeting and entertainment. Volunteers can sign up through Almeta Crayton's Community Programs' Facebook page

The 19th Everybody Eats event will be held on Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Columbia Senior Activity Center, 1121 Business Loop 70 East, and is open to anyone who wants to attend. 

“It’s not about white, black or how much money you make,” said Kentrell Minton, executive director of the Almeta Crayton's Community Programs. “It’s about the community coming together to love one another and talk about why we’re thankful.”

Supervising editor is Natalia Alamdari.

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