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WATCH NOW: Over 1,200 drive-thru holiday meals served
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WATCH NOW: Over 1,200 drive-thru holiday meals served

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Drive-thru holiday meals

On the day before Thanksgiving, dozens of volunteers gathered at the Henry County Food Pantry in Bassett to provide a drive-thru holiday meal for people in need.

Before the pandemic, the Harvest Youth Board held an annual Thanksgiving Eve dinner at the Martinsville High School, where many people would eat their meals in the cafeteria.

Adapting to the circumstances COVID-19 presented last Thanksgiving, the event was moved to the Henry County Food Pantry on Fairystone Park Highway in Bassett, and boxes of food were given to people as they drove by.

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With the virus still present, the same system was used again this year as a long line of vehicles moved slowly through the parking lot, around the back of the building where the food boxes were distributed, and then out the other side and back onto the highway.

Vickie Helmstutler was inside the building, helping to box the food, while her husband, Barry Helmstutler, carried the boxes to a loading dock out back.

"This is the first year we've volunteered," he said. "They've got quite a smooth operation going here."

The drive-thru began at 1 p.m. and lasted throughout the afternoon.

"There will be about 1,200 food boxes distributed this year," Helmstutler said.

The Harvest Foundation sponsored the event with help from the Charity League, Kiwanis Club of Bassett, MHC Chapter NCBE and the food pantry's regular volunteers.

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 2360. Follow him @billdwyatt.

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