Thanksgiving is right around the corner but this year, not everyone will be able to celebrate with a turkey dinner.
The Felix Elks lodge #1217 in Wichita Falls traditionally cooks and gives out dinners to those in need. Yet this year it isn't allowed to because it's aging kitchen is not up to city code.
The kitchen closing could possibly prevent 1,000 people in Texoma from having Thanksgiving dinner. The Felix Elks Lodge works with Meals on Wheels to deliver dinner to the homebound, elderly, and families with not enough money to eat. This year, they are unable to, which breaks the hearts of those in the lodge.
"It's...it's sad," exclaims Diana Wyatt, a sister with the lodge.
Daughter Ruler of Faith Temple #880 Sandra Humphrey agrees. "It's heartbreaking to say we can't."
"It's hurting...it hurts," says Darrell McGaughey, the Exhalter Ruler of the Felix Elks Lodge sighing, shaking his head.
The Elks Lodge has been delivering Thanksgiving meals to people from Iowa park, Burkburnett, and Wichita falls for almost 9 years. This year however, the city shut them down saying the Lodge's kitchen is not up to code.
"We need to get our kitchen up to par, we need to get things done and we really need the help to do it," says Wyatt.
Help to pay for the $6,650 worth of new equipment. Last year, the Lodge served over 700 meals. This year they won't be serving anything, which is a shock to some.
"I don't want to hear anyone say they're hungry and I know there are going to be some people here this year that won't have something, or may have anything," exclaims Humphrey.
Even though the kitchen isn't up to code, people in need are still calling, asking for help.
"I had a man call me telling me that this will be the first time in 3 years that he hasn't had a meal from us," Wyatt says with tears in her eyes.
Especially since Meals on Wheels doesn't deliver dinners on holidays. Now that the Lodge is unable to help, many may go hungry on America's famous feast day.
"We may be open, but we will have nothing here to give to the public," says McGaughey.
McGaughey says through donations and prayers, the Lodge may be able to serve Meals on Wheels dinners for Christmas.
To help donate, contact Darrell McGauhey at (214) 773-3126. Or contact the equipment manufacturer of the supplies needed, call 1-800-235-3325 extension 193. Ask to speak with Dave and contribute towards the Feliz Lister Elks Lodge #1217 fund.