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Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and The Salvation Army for Hope in Jefferson City hosted community meals for Thanksgiving.

Father Don Antwieler, the pastor for Immaculate Conception Church, says more than 800 people signed up or dined in for a hot meal and more than 50 volunteers helped serve the large crowd.

"They really are excited about coming in and being able to do it so it's a great opportunity for us as well as for the people who are being served," Antweiler said.

Columbia resident Ben Fury said it has been tough not having family around, so it was nice to stop by and share the holiday with others.

"It being the holiday season, and not having family anymore, having seasonal affective disorder. Every little thing I can do to hold depression at bay this time of year makes a big difference," Fury said.

The Salvation Army for Hope also opened its doors for those in need.

"Giving back is something I always wanted to do and it brings joy to me," Salvation Army volunteer Jimmie Payne said.

Another volunteer, Carol Scott said, "We are serving meals to not only the people who live or are staying here at the Salvation Army but also to the people in the community who don't have a meal available to them."

Scott also said she lost her father years ago and she knows how it can feel to not be around family on the holidays.

"And I didn't really have any family that was close to get together with and some friends and I got together and said let's see what we can do to help other people on this stressful day."

Both organizations got their food from donations which played a big role in serving Thanksgiving meals.

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