Annual Dan and Ray’s Rendering Thanks meal continues with changes due to COVID-19

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RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) – A special Racine Thanksgiving tradition continues this year despite the pandemic. 

It's the 11th year for the community meal at Festival Hall, but this year, instead of everyone eating inside the Banquet Hall, meals were delivered by drive-thru.

Normally, Dan and Ray's Rendering Thanks Thanksgiving dinner has hundreds of people gathered together sharing a meal, but this year, the room is bare because of the pandemic.

"It's a challenge that we like to accept, and this is an important event for the community," said organizer Dan Johnson. "It gives people something to look forward to, you know, because these times when nothing happens, we are trying to make something happen."

That something is a drive-thru and walk-up Thanksgiving meal prepared for thousands, even if it isn't in person this year.

"In the midst of a pandemic it's important to show people that you can still accomplish things, you just have conform and be safe about what you are doing."

Organizers Dan and Ray say that even though this year is different, they knew they had to keep the tradition alive in Racine.

"It's a day that we convey that everybody is equal, and you know, you'll have a retired businessman sitting next to a homeless person."

During this time, a hot meal, even if it is curbside, is need for many, more than ever.

"It means a lot to people that they're able to do this for people and give us food and help people out on the holidays."

The Thanksgiving meal is expected to feed thousands of people.


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