CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The community group Cops and Barbers certainly came loaded for bear Wednesday evening. The group pulled up with enough turkey at a community center along Tuckaseegee Road to serve 300 people.
Emotions swung like a pendulum as folks lined up for a free Thanksgiving meal. Some were all smiles.
“It’s really awesome, it’s a blessing.” said one woman under her mask.
Others you could tell were having a rough go of it.
“We’re having a hard time right now.” explained a couple in line for a hot meal.
Each car in line got their own turkey and trimmings to help them get through the holiday. In some cases, anyway they could.
“I just had a mother-in-law just pass away. So it’s been real tough.” according to one driver.
And she wasn’t alone.
“I lost a couple of family members to the coronavirus.” said another.
To ease the pain many of these families are going through this year, the community group Cops and Barbers helped feed those who needed a bit of help.
This is the tenth year the group has been out here. It’s in part the brainchild of Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, who also now holds the title of chief turkey purveyor.
“We need to find turkeys.” said McFadden, “So I called some partners air market and some other people who work with the Sheriff’s Office and they donated the turkeys.
The event is usually held inside in west Charlotte, but the pandemic stymied that idea. So organizers changed it up to more of a drive thru.
“This is the first year we’re doing it this way.” said Bana Sidberry with the group “Cops and Barbers”. “Normally we’re able to meet-and-greet our community, but not this year due to COVID restraints.”
The programs are so successful, the Sheriff from Gwinnett County, Georgia came to see how the operation works.
“Just one of the best, well-ran organizations I’ve ever seen.” said Kebo Taylor
Many people in line said this year was so bad if it wasn’t for this organization, Thanksgiving probably wouldn’t have happened.