Thanksgiving Dinner


Veridian serves 1,217 free Thanksgiving meals in first curbside version of 39th annual event

Veridian Credit Union hosted the first curbside version of our 39th annual Mike and Leona Adams Thanksgiving Dinner on Monday, November 23. For the first time in the event’s history, Veridian employees served the Cedar Valley’s largest free Thanksgiving meal in to-go containers. Volunteers distributed 935 meals from the UAW Union Hall in Waterloo and partnered with the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging to distribute another 282 meals to Meals on Wheels recipients.


“The Mike and Leona Adams Thanksgiving Dinner began in 1982 to offer a free meal to those in need during the farm crisis,” said Veridian President and CEO Renee Christoffer. “This year, the pandemic has created a unique set of health and financial challenges. It was important for us to find a way to safely honor this tradition in our community.”


The event is named for its late founders. In 1982, Mike and Leona Adams saw friends and neighbors struggling to make ends meet after layoffs. Mike was a member of the UAW Local 838 and a board member for what is now Veridian Credit Union. He and his wife, Leona, brought both organizations together to serve a free community meal. The event serves 900-1,000 meals each year, including turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.


In addition to curbside pick-up, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MET Transit) delivered meals from the event to recipients living in Cedar Falls, Evansdale or Waterloo without reliable transportation. Local contributors to the event also include College Square Hy-Vee, Martin Bros. Distributing Co., Inc., Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Special Occasions Party and Event Rental and the UAW Local 838 retirees.

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