Sheriff Gusman’s Thanksgiving meal tradition continues in a new way with food deliveries

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NEW ORLEANS– For 46 years it’s been a Thanksgiving tradition. Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s annual Thanksgiving meal giveaway for people in need, but because of the pandemic, this year hey had to come up with a new way to help.

WGNO’s Kenny Lopez explains how the Thanksgiving spirit lives on.

“I’m adjusting to it. It is a different Thanksgiving,” Sheriff Marlin Gusman with Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Gusman’s annual Thanksgiving meal giveaway is very different this year because of the pandemic.

“The past years have been at the Convention Center as a big group,” he said.

Thousands of meals no longer eaten together at a luncheon, but still food being shared and delivered by Sheriff Gusman, his team of deputies and volunteers to folks in need throughout the city.

“Some people can’t go out to go the the store and to cook, so it feels really good to help out,” Marvelle Gaspard, a volunteer said.

“I can’t thank my staff and volunteers enough. Most people could be home relaxing and they came out and decided they were going to give back,” Sheriff Gusman said.

Tim Gray and his son Miles are volunteers, who picked up the food from the Sheriff’s Office and are dropping off meals for Mrs. Joan Humphrey.

“I think this sets the tone for the whole day. Doing something for someone and giving back,” Gray said.

“I’m so grateful for the food. It is a wonderful feeling and I appreciate it so much,” Humphrey said.

Making others feel good is why Sheriff Gusman knew he had to continue this tradition in some way.

“We still have the spirit of giving and sharing and that’s what Thanksgiving is all about,” he said.

Every year Irma Thomas performs at the luncheon, and this year she performed virtually on Facebook and on WLAE-TV.

Chef Edgar “Dooky” Chase made the feasts for the families in need this year.

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