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The Chappelle Memorial AME Church Thanksgiving dinner fed 400 people

The Chappelle Memorial AME Church Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner didn't stop because of COVID-19.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Chappelle Memorial AME Church Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner is a staple event in the community. 

The pandemic didn't stop church members from feeding those who may go hungry.

"Because of the pandemic, we didn't think it was going to happen," said Diane Labrew. 

It's a thanksgiving tradition started more than 20 years ago by Diane Labrew's mother, Edith General.

"This young man came through one Sunday morning and told my mother he was hungry. She said it would never happen again."

General vowed that no one in her community would go hungry on Thanksgiving day. Every year, she cooked a feast for anyone looking for food. The community servant died in 2013, and now her daughter is continuing with her promise. 

"My mother said it's not for homeless people; it's for anybody," explained Labrew. "Her family ate here too."

"She was that type of person, a very loving and caring individual," said Rev. Tim Cokley. "She understood the gospel: to feed those who are hungry and clothe those who are naked. She took it literally to feed as many people she could."

Credit: WLTX

RELATED: Edith General's family continues Thanksgiving tradition

Because of the pandemic, this year's feast is unique. 

"We had to change the way we do it," said Rev. Cokley. "Most times, we would feed people inside, but because of the social distancing, we have to do takeout orders."

The meals comes with turkey, stuffing, rice with gravy, and a dessert. Dozens of people come each year. This year about 400 thanksgiving dinners were given away. Labrew says she has a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

"I'm thankful for life, health, my family, church family, and all the people who are here volunteering on this rainy day," said Labrew. "I couldn't do this without them."

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