(La Porte, IN) - For 17 years, the Sales family has made their Thanksgiving dinner a public event, hosting hundreds of people at the American Legion Post 83 in La Porte. This year, it’s not a dine-in affair, but a take-out event. Family and volunteers are eating in shifts while preparing go-boxes for everyone else.
Leonard Sales is one of the family organizers. He says COVID precautions have thrown a wrinkle into their logistics. I nstead of serving up dinner buffet-style, volunteers will be delivering meals. "Luckily we had quite a few volunteers this year," he says. "Originally I hoping to just do La Porte, but we had people calling from Michigan City, from South Bend, from Wanatah, so we've got drivers from all over the place."
Sales says people who have come for dinner in past years, are volunteering to deliver food this year. "Year after year, they'd come in and donate 20-30 dollars," he says, "but this year they said, 'you know what, we'll come in and deliver for an hour, then come back and get our food and go home.' So it's been a community effort."
Usually, Sales says, they provide up to 400 meals. Based on the response, Sales estimates 600 meals going out by Thursday afternoon.
He says they have been taking orders since last week. Guests are still welcome to show up at the door of the American Legion on Lincolnway between 11-2. Sales says no one will be turned away. Volunteers will also be taking meals to area first responders who are on duty today.