Roxanne Scott was among several volunteers helping to give food to the needy during the DAV’s annual food drive. She welcomed everyone with a hug.
Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain


The local chapter of Disabled American Veterans hosted its traditional drive-thru food bank for hungry families during the holidays. Similar to its Thanksgiving fundraiser, volunteers gave out free Christmas dinners as local citizens pulled up at the front door.

Turkey, ham, bacon, mashed potatoes, collard greens and a dinner roll were guaranteed in each individual bag. Roxanne Scott was in charge of organizing the annual community Christmas dinner.

“It takes a huge effort to pull this off,” Scott said. “Anyone in the community is able to come and pick up a meal. All of our product is donated and this event goes until we run out of food.”

Turkeys and hams were buried overnight to maintain freshness before the meat was given out. Twelve turkeys and six hams were shredded and provided in bags for families. At the start, the meat is shredded, and cooks use onions, stuffing and gravy which served as side pieces to the highlight portion of the dinner. More than 500 licensed approved meals were given out during the event.

Dawn Medaris is a 16-year veteran with the United States Air Force and was a smiling face at the front door. Medaris served in both Korea as well as Desert Storm.

“This is for veterans who have been forgotten,” she said. “But it is also for anybody in this town who could use help during the holidays. I feel like right now our government does not want to step up and recognize our veterans as much as they should. In my personal experience, when you experience combat and PTSD, things like this help you forgive yourself. The more we’re out there for the community, the more it helps us as individuals.”

The DAV food drive went for several hours but did run out of food during its 2021 giveaway. It was just after 12 p.m. when vehicles had to be turned away by volunteers.

“Our community is struggling, and we have been for a while,” Scott added. “The fact that we can offer a dinner for people, and due to the pandemic it’s drive-up, is a great thing. Our community always finds a way to give back.”

The DAV would like to thank the Parole and Probation Program for providing the turkeys and hams for the event. Foodbank fundraisers are currently being planned for the 2022 year.

Greg Byrd | El Defensor Chieftain