Groton’s military families received free Thanksgiving meals on Wednesday, thanks to Operation Homefront.
Two local sponsors, Dime Bank and UCFS Healthcare, donated to make the event happen. It was the second year of Operation Homefront in Groton for the Thanksgiving holiday.
âWe are trying to make this as easy as possible to help families have a great dinner for the holidays,â said Nick Caplanson, President and CEO of Dime Bank.
A total of 125 families received food, gift cards, cleaning supplies and gifts from Santa Claus.
“It’s phenomenal. They are always so wonderful and smiling. It makes me happy,” said Christine Ramirez. Ramirez’s husband is in the Navy now and she was serving too. They live in Gales Ferry and have been a military family for 18 years. “They gave us great food because, you know, times are sometimes tough for some families.”
Operation Homefront said there was a full waiting list for the event.
“A lot of Americans just can’t make ends meet and when you add the military aspect to it … it adds to the difficulty of having a fully prepared holiday meal on the table,” said Kaylyn Lockyer, of Operation Homefront.
Carinna McGregor has said she wouldn’t know what to do on Thanksgiving without the event. Her husband is deployed at the moment. She is in school full time and looking after their two children.
âWe have to budget every penny at this point, so hosting an event like this is very beneficial for us,â McGregor said.
The purpose of the event was to help ease some of the financial burden on families, while letting them know they have support.
âA supportive community that values ââwhat they do, that values ââthe contribution and the sacrifices they make for us,â said Jennifer Granger, President and CEO of UCFS Healthcare.