Before most of Anchorage was awake on Thanksgiving morning, dozens of volunteers were dishing up hot meals and packaging them for delivery to seniors in need.

Reinforcements showed up soon after, to begin taking meals prepped for delivery to their final destinations.

“Every year there are different people and different stories that touch our lives and end up being a part of who we are and the fiber of why we do things in our community the other 364 and a half days a year,” explained Amie Haakenson, while en route to Chugach Manor with 12 meals, two teenage daughters and her husband in tow.

The family has spent their Thanksgiving mornings serving others with the Salvation Army’s "Older Alaskans Meals on Wheels" program since 2011.

After finishing deliveries at the senior living center, the Haakenson family made one last stop at a room where no meal was needed. Instead of accepting a gift, resident Dave Goodworth had a treat of his own for the volunteers, a song he wrote himself about pilgrims, and loves to share on Thanksgiving.

Approximately 500 senior citizens received a free Thanksgiving meal on Thursday through the Salvation Army’s Older Alaskans Meals on Wheels program.

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