ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - A Limestone County woman and her family can't bear the thought of someone going hungry, especially on the holidays. For the last four years, they've prepared free Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for the community. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward to Roxanne Haggermaker, who starts planning for these events early.
"Pies, cakes, cookies, peach cobbler, broccoli salad, pea salad, potato salad, sweet potatoes, casseroles, and rolls," says Haley Haggermaker, as she lists all the food items they family is planning to make for an upcoming community meal.
It's a big undertaking.
"Slaw, dressing, gravy, and cranberry sauce," adds Roxanne Haggermaker, as the family sits around their table discussing the menu.
They've been feeding thousands of people in the Limestone County community and surrounding areas for a few years now. Roxanne Haggermaker, her daughter Haley, and parents pick the menu and prepare the food.
"I'm going to shoot for about 15 hams and 12 turkeys this year," says Roxanne Haggermaker.
Volunteers help too, but the Haggermakers spearhead the effort. The meals are served at the VFW Building in Athens. In 2014, they used more than 40 pounds of cornmeal to make the dressing for Thanksgiving and that got devoured quickly.
"Last year, I made 15 pounds of macaroni and we were out. so we need to up that," says Roxanne Haggermaker.
Despite the labor, something they will never run out of is the desire to help others.
"To have somebody take the time to actually cook and say we care enough to do this, that's what it's all about," describes Haggermaker. "I try to teach my kids that too that's it's better to give than to receive."
That generous spirit makes them worthy of a Pay it Forward.
"Thank you so very much and this will go a long way," says Haggermaker. "That will buy a lot of green beans and canned goods. Thank you so much!"
The $319 will help feed those who are hungry for food and hope during the upcoming holiday season.
Last year, the Haggermakers served over 1,500 meals at Thanksgiving and 2,000 around the Christmas holiday. That includes meals they delivered to people who are home bound. If you would like to volunteer or assist the Haggermakers with providing the free holiday meals for hte community, please call 256-206-6702.