Martha’s Vineyard in Paducah shares Thanksgiving food and fellowship

PADUCAH — For many, Thanksgiving is a time spent with family and friends. Some people in our own community can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal or don’t have anyone to celebrate with, but many agencies in our area are here to help.

Martha’s Vineyard in Paducah provides more than just meals.

Martha Bell opened her doors for the 29th year this Thanksgiving morning to feed those in need.

“I’ve never seen a day I didn’t want to open that door.”

Preparation starts days in advance with the help of more than 30 volunteers.

Martha and her volunteers prepared meals for more than 4,000 people last year. This year, they hope to have even more.

“Our mission is we take care of the persons who will never get to the grocery again,” Bell said. “So, that’s my main goal: make sure those persons are fed first.”

Bell said every Thanksgiving to-go meal included a donation such as cereal or something extra.

Amanda Shetler volunteered Thursday and sees how the meal impacts so many.

“My heart just kind of goes out to these people that don’t really have family or they’re kind of by themselves,” Shetler said. “It just makes me feel good to help them.”

Bell goes beyond merely feeding people.

“They hug me, and I’m like their next link to a mother that’s already deceased,” Bell said.

The doors at Martha’s Vineyard will be open again Friday.

“I’m really thankful for all of the people that were able to come,” Bell said.

If you want to help, you can donate nonperishable food items to Martha’s Vineyard. They’re also in need of hygiene items such as shampoo and conditioner, as well as bed sheets, towels, blankets, and baby items.

For more on this story and others, follow Pauline Fitzgerald on Facebook or Twitter.

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