PEMBROKE — A Thanksgiving dinner was provided Tuesday to 200 members of the community here by a California-based real estate firm.
The initiative by Blue Campus Properties was intended to serve needy members of the community, especially those who were affected by Hurricane Matthew. However, students residing in The View apartment complex also were welcome to a meal, as was the case in previous years.
“Last year what we did was feed our residents, but the food kind of went to waste,” said Nauteca Sweat, a Blue Campus staff member. “This year, we decided to feed people from Hurricane Matthew and the community so the food won’t go to waste.”
Blue Campus manages two apartment complexes in Pembroke: The View, at 490 Prospect Road, and The Commons, at 408 W. Railroad St.
Participants had the option of either picking up their meals at The View or having the food be delivered to their homes. About 150 of the 200 meals allotted for the event were delivered.
“It means a lot for us to give back to the community,” said Wendy Chavis, Robeson County’s Parks and Recreation director. “We’re very fortunate that Blue Properties does a whole lot for their community.
“We’re very fortunate to come up and help them out. Some of the people we’re delivering to today were victims of Hurricane Matthew, so they’re all getting a free meal today.”
The Recreation Department provided volunteers who helped package and distribute the meals. Traditional Thanksgiving dishes, such as turkey, green beans, ham, yams and gravy, were on the menu.
“We can always give back,” said Malinda McRae, a Blue Campus staff member. “Take yourself out of the equation and just learn to give back because there’s somebody that needs it. We all have everything we need, a roof over our head, but there’s somebody out there that’s still struggling.”
Although many of the people who took advantage of the free meal were directly affected by Hurricane Matthew, the event’s ultimate goal was to reach out to anyone who couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to a Thanksgiving meal.
“We chose to help [Matthew] victims and the unfortunate,” Chavis said. ‘We’re delivering to the homes behind Piggly Wiggly, to the senior citizen homes. The less fortunate get some, too.”
The event was well-received in the community. The food, which was catered by L&M in Fairmont, received good reviews.
“They’re loving it,” Chavis said. “They’re very pleased. They’re very thankful. The food is great.”
“It’s actually been a pretty good atmosphere because it is going to a good cause,” Sweat said.
The event was a test run for incorporating similar initiatives in the future.
“We wanted to see how it would turn out,” Sweat said. “So far, it’s been going good, so we’ll probably do another one next year.”
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or on Twitter @Tester_Brandon.