Sometimes the worst of circumstances brings out the best in people.

Anyone in search of a Thanksgiving meal Thursday learned and benefited from that if fortunate enough to come upon a converted school bus-turned-food truck called Devine Eats.

Situated at the parking lot on the corner of South Fourth Street and Grand Avenue, where Linda Devine’s law practice is, Devine and six to eight volunteers gave of their time, distributing free meals to anyone who approached the truck.

“I’d say we gave away about 150 meals. We delivered some, too,” said Devine, who added this was the first year doing this. “I did it because of COVID. Plus for people who were not able to go home for the holiday.”

One of the people who came upon the food truck and pulled into the parking lot was Steven Hall. He arrived in the nick of time, as those dispensing the meals were readying shutting down. He asked for one meal. He was given three. Someone went to the law office and brought out three frozen pumpkin pie packages.

“God bless you,” Hall said, astonished and grateful.

Another person grateful was volunteer Micah Jayne.

“Andy from the Crowbar kindly offered his kitchen to prep all the food,” said Jayne.

How it started

Although this is the first time the food truck has given out Thanksgiving meals, it is not the first time it donates food, according to Tess Kilwein.

This has been going on for several years, and what prompted this stemmed from conversations between Devine and Kilwein.

“Linda and I are close friends, and we were talking about what Thanksgiving was going to look like this year,” said Kilwein. Like many, she stayed put this Thanksgiving, rather than be with family in North Dakota, which currently is one of the “hot spots” in the nation re: COVID-19 cases. “We decided why not put out meals to the community.”

Donations from throughout the community began pouring in when people heard about it, including food and money. In fact, they raised approximately $1,000, which will go to the Wind River Foundation.

“It will be for the indigenous people living on the reservation,” Kilwein said. “This [Thanksgiving] is not a holiday for many people, such as the indigenous people, so we wanted to do something for them.”

Of late, the food truck has been doing meals at least once or twice a month these past several months, according to Kilwein.

“When we’re asked to do something, then we do it,” she said.

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