LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – With Thanksgiving Day right around the corner, the City of Longview helped more than a thousand families through the 35th annual “Thanksgiving Food Drive”.
The event allows families who need help for the holidays sign up to receive food.
“A lot of it is senior citizens that need assistance, on social security and they need help with food for Thanksgiving and a lot of them are families that are just needing help,” said Charlotte Davis, the Food Drive Chair.
Based on the size of the family, each participant walked away with everything they need to make a traditional Thanksgiving meal, plus something extra.
“The faces on the people that come in today, that every one of them will say thank you and will tell us Happy Thanksgiving,” said Davis, describing her favorite part about the event.
KETK wanted to know what the event actually means for these families, that’s when we met the Toombs.
Broderick Toombs arrived with his 100-year old mother, Verie, the matriarch of the family, not to mention a force in the kitchen.
“Barbra will do the cooking. Mom will do the dressing. That’s our tradition,” said Broderick.
Year after year, this family creates memories. With everyone coming to Longview for the holiday, Toombs says this year is extra special, not knowing how much time they have left with Verie.
“Cooking ever since we were young, mom taught us to cook and dad always cooked wild stuff,” says Toombs, describing his favorite part about Thanksgiving.
While their father died years ago, the Toombs have stayed a tight-knit family. However, this year they needed a little extra help in the kitchen.
Toombs is a veteran of the Air Force, and with his mother on Medicaid, sometimes a lot of food just isn’t in the budget. The Longview Thanksgiving Food Drive helps solve that problem.
“We’re on a set income. So, it helps out with the budgeting,” said Toombs.
Hams, cornbread, and plenty of canned goods fill their kitchen.
“To have this, it’s a bounty too. It’s good named brand stuff and it’s not second hand or something somebody threw away or out of date stuff,” said Toombs.
Although they are thankful for the food, this family believes the real blessing can be found in the hands making it.
“Mom’s here, I’m here, and we enjoy each other’s company,” explains Toombs,” Friends and everyone else is invited to join in. We don’t wait for a special occasion to make a gathering.”
For this family, it’s not about the turkey, because they’re too focused on who’s sitting at the table.
“Thanksgiving to me is just another day,” said Toombs.