ROCK SPRINGS — Many families in our community are facing hunger this season.

A privately-owned business had the urge to step in again.

For the fifth year in a row, local vehicle dealership 307 Auto Plaza handed out 600 free ready-to-cook meals to Sweetwater County residents on Wednesday – just in time for Thanksgiving.

Before the 10th of November, Owner Brent Lloyd shared a sign-up link on Facebook for families facing financial hardships. The list filled up quickly.

“My dad loves doing this for the community,” said Brent’s son Ryley. “Seeing the community struggle gives us a new perspective.”

According to populationreview.com, 11.46 percent of Sweetwater County’s population have been living in poverty this year.

“It’s nice to help people have a happy ending.”

Ryley also mentioned that the way “we stick together as a community sets us apart from other communities.”

Even at the crack of dawn, Volunteer Tami Schwartz, her husband Steve and their first-grade twins Freddie and Loretta were excited to lend a hand along with 30 other volunteers.

“We love the Lloyds and for what they do for their community,” said Schwartz. “Our kids often think about other kids who are less fortunate. It makes them sad.

“Everyone’s bellies should be full for Thanksgiving.”

Lauren Lloyd and her sister Nicole were looking forward to serving bags of food to disadvantaged families.

“We just want to see people have a better Thanksgiving,” Lauren shared.

Unemployment isn’t the main reason for those who are not able to provide a hearty Thanksgiving meal for their families. It is still a challenge for low-income families to keep the cupboards and refrigerators full.

“It’s sad to see people work hard but still can’t stay ahead,” Volunteer Leah Jones pointed out. “It feels good to be involved in a good cause.”

Volunteers from different organizations assisted with Wednesday’s food drive such as Cowboy Cares, Inc.

According to Owner and Operator of Cowboy Cares Melissa Marroquin, some of the people who signed up for the complimentary meals are home-bound patients. Representatives delivered the bags of Thanksgiving goodies to their homes after packing them with hams, corn, rolls, mashed potatoes, whipped cream and pies.

“We just like to give back,” Brent said. “This is a great opportunity to express our appreciation for the community. They’ve treated me and my family so well.

“It’s important, as a business, to show how thankful we are to our community.”

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