Almeta Crayton sat near the door inside Moser’s Discount Foods, repeating “God Bless you” as people donated money to her program, Everybody Eats.
Everybody Eats allows those who either do not have the money for a Thanksgiving dinner or do not have a family to eat with to have a place to come and eat. Crayton said she wants everyone to feel at home, so she turns on music and football, and everyone is allowed to go get seconds.
The program was started 15 years ago. This year, it will be held in Stephens College cafeteria on Thanksgiving Day, and Crayton expects more than 300 people to attend. That means she'll need more donations than in previous years.
Crayton said everybody has something to give.
“You can work together and make it but, if you don’t work together then you're going to sink by yourself,” Crayton said.
One year, a woman had a lot of bread available, so she donated enough for everyone to have a roll.
When Crayton started Everybody Eats, she classified herself as part of the working poor. She said these are the people who make too much money to be on food stamps but might not have enough to afford an entire Thanksgiving dinner.
“We have enough food to make a difference,” said Crayton. “You don’t realize that little kids go to school and talk about Thanksgiving, and you don’t have nothing to feed your children. Now they can tell their friends, 'Well we had thanksgiving, too.'”
Volunteers are needed the day before Thanksgiving to do the cooking and after the event to wash dishes and clean up.
Money and food donations are still needed. Call Crayton at 825-5263 to arrange for a pick-up.