HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Salvation Army said it’s gotten a head start on the holidays and have already handed out free thanksgiving meals over the weekend. 

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Phil Lum, Salvation Army Pacific Islands Division Commander, said “So it’s a very family type of a feeling, and people were just so joyful and happy and just grateful to be there and to share a meal together. So, it was a wonderful, just a wonderful positive atmosphere; and it was a joy just to be there.”

The meals have your staple thanksgiving food items; and on Oahu, the Salvation Army is partnering with Zippy’s and Anna Millers. “We had beautiful garlic mashed potatoes and gravy in some places serve rice; but it’s mostly the traditional thanksgiving meal with a turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, of course.” Said Lum.

There are many options to have a delicious meal from pick-up, delivery or a face-to-face event.

After a pandemic pause, the organization is bringing back Thanksgiving meals at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall on Thursday. They are expecting thousands of people to show up.

Lum said “A lot of people come who just want to have, I guess, the fellowship. They just want to hang out with their friends and have a good time. And, we’ve missed that so much in the last couple of years, to have an in-person event and have live music and just to feel that sense of family, ohana, in the air.”

You can click here for more information on times and locations.

The Salvation Army wants to remind people this event would not be possible without the many generous volunteers and the meals are for anyone to enjoy.

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“We’re prepared to serve over 6000 meals statewide. From Kauai, Oahu, Maui and in the Big Island as well, so that’s a lot of meals and a lot of time in preparation.”

Phil Lum