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Lexington church gives away free collard greens for New Year's tradition

'When they see you put boots on the ground they know it's something,' said Elaine Eskew, New Bethel AME pastor.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — A Lexington church is upholding its long-time tradition of giving out free collard greens ahead of the new year.

New Bethel AME said they had dozens of bunches of the leafy greens delivered to their church parking lot at around 11 Thursday morning.

The church is giving back in a small, but superfood way.

"In my household, we use olive oil, maybe sometimes bakes turkey parts," said Elaine Eskew, New Bethel AME pastor.

"I think it means a lot, especially now during COVID. A lot of people sometimes just don't have the money to buy things, especially things like food, so anytime you can give back to help those people that are in need is always good," Ebonie Jones, Lexington resident said.

"This is one way they're wanting to give back to the entire family and New Year's is such a big-time in the African American and in the southern tradition,"  Eskew said. "New Years Day is such a big-time and collard greens, black-eyed peas. It's traditional, and so we're wanting to keep that part of history going on."

Dozens of bunches were available for anyone who drove up.

"People can see your love in action - just preaching from the pulpit or virtually," Eskew said. "But when they see you put boots on the ground they know it's something."

And, sometimes, love can come in the form of leafy greens.