Madison native organizes Plates of Plenty meal delivery to the homeless the day after Christmas

Pay It Forward
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The holidays are a joyous time for many of us, full of big family meals and gift exchanges. However, there’s another side to that. It’s also a reminder for some of what they don’t have or what’s missing from their lives. Sarah Hunt-Blackwell saw a homeless person on her way to work and decided that she was tired of just passing them by. She came up with an idea to bring the hope of the holidays to them.

Sarah Hunt-Blackwell and her mom, Shelley Hunt, walked into Sam’s Club on University Drive in Huntsville with a list and a plan to turn an idea into reality

“We cook a lot and for a lot of people, so we’re just doing it bigger,” says Shelley Hunt.

They’re setting out to make between 150 to 200 meals that they’ll deliver to the homeless the day after Christmas.

“I was just thinking it would be a blessing to someone,” explains Hunt-Blackwell.

Sarah is from Madison and works in Nashville.

“I saw someone on my way to work one day and I said I want to help,” describes Hunt-Blackwell. “I knew I wasn’t going to be in Nashville for Christmas. Why not do it in Huntsville and help the community where I grew up?”

That’s how Plates of Plenty came to be. In two weeks time, she came up with the concept and a menu.

“We have turkey and ham on the menu, macaroni and cheese, green beans, probably black eyed peas or beans of some sort, dinner rolls, desserts and water to drink,” says Hunt-Blackwell. ”

When asked how she came up with those specific menu item, Hunt-Blackwell responded, “Because that’s what I eat.”

It was important to make it easy for those on the receiving end.

“I really see value in meeting people where they are, literally and figuratively,” says Hunt-Blackwell. “So, you know wherever you are, however you are, I just want to come and bring you a plate, bring you some food, and bring you some holiday cheer.”

As she tallied her budget and brought all of the items to the register to check out, there was one thing  Hunt-Blackwell didn’t account for – a surprise Pay it Forward of $319.

“Oh my goodness!!!” she shouted. “Thank you so much. Oh my goodness! That is amazing.”

You can donate to the Plates of Plenty effort or volunteer to assemble or deliver meals by contacting Sarah Hunt-Blackwell at

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