Community meal for those less fortunate

Community meal for those less fortunate

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PHOENIX -

For many families, getting a full meal is a daily struggle, and not just on thanksgiving. Tuesday, we talked to a family in south Phoenix getting a meal at an early thanksgiving celebration.

The Johnson family is new to town, so this was their first time. The family of six calls it a blessing.

They are one of many families who need a helping hand. Standing in line: some moms and dads whose jobs aren't steady, some children who go to bed without a hot meal. But not tonight.

John and Angela Johnson and their four children just moved to Arizona from Oregon.

"These four are what keep me going. My motivation," says John Johnson.

The couple needs to find work. They never imagined they'd stand in line for tonight's thanksgiving meal. But, it's one less thing to worry about.

"Times are tough right now. We heard about the free food here, seeing what's in the community," says Angela Johnson.

The South Mountain community is one of the nicest and most generous, according to the couple.

Salvation Army volunteers handed out turkey dinners to hundreds of people. The food was donated by Spee-D-Tee's BBQ restaurant owned by Ted McClure. The BBQ spot is a south Phoenix fixture.

"I've been so blessed by this community, so for 13 years, I've been doing this and giving back," says McClure.

Each person held a plate and walked through the buffet, everyone from senior citizens to small children.

They piled chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, corn, and sweet potato pie on their plates.

The Johnson kids were taught to wait until everyone is seated. Once everyone was settled, they along with other families said their prayers of thanksgiving. Then it was dinner time.

"I'm thankful for community events, my family."

A group of ASU students were also there volunteering. This thanksgiving meal is a South Mountain community tradition. It's been happening for 13 years.

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