Everyone Eats offers Thanksgiving meal to less fortunate


Anna Wright

At the local Moser’s, Almeta Crayton collects cash donations for the annual “Everyone Eats” event. Photo by Aniqa Rahman

In the altruistic spirit of Thanksgiving, Columbia resident Almeta Crayton is now in the process of organizing the 15th annual Everyone Eats event.

Throughout the weeks preceding Thanksgiving, Crayton gathers non-perishable food donations which are then organized into baskets that are donated to those in need. She then hosts a formal meal on Thanksgiving day at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 409 Oak St., feeding those from the Boone County Area who have nowhere else to go for the holiday. Crayton said that she herself was once unable to afford Thanksgiving and this personal experience sparked an interest in aiding others struggling with the same situation.

“A lot of times the working poor don’t qualify for a lot of programs, and so we were left out of a lot of things,” Crayton said. “So I said ‘Let me try to help people like me.'”

The event reaches hundreds of less fortunate individuals each year, many of whom may be closer than most students would think. Crayton offers a reminder of just how many individuals there are in Columbia who could use a helping hand around the holidays.

“I had one kid that was emancipated and she went to Rock Bridge and we had to give her a basket because she had nobody but herself,” Crayton said. “There are a lot of kids, you may not know their names per se, but there are a lot of kids at your school that do need help.”

Crayton will be at Moser’s grocery store everyday after noon until Wednesday, Nov. 21, collecting donations.  Donations may also be dropped off at St. Luke’s United Methodist Chruch, and anyone interested in volunteering at the event should call Crayton at (573) 825-5263.

Empathy, Crayton says, is at the heart of the Everybody Eats event and is the driving force in helping others. She says that it is important to get involved in the community and that she would like too see more RBHS students participate in the event.

“You have to get up and do something to help somebody else, so that’s what we try to do,” Crayton said. “There are other people out here and we need to know what it feels like to have the same compassion.”
By Anna Wright
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