WATERVILLE, Maine — For most people, Thanksgiving is a day to count life's blessings and be filled with gratitude. How everyone goes about doing that, however, can be different.
In Waterville, Scott St. Peter and his family are celebrating Thanksgiving by giving back to their community with free holiday meals. It's the fifth year they've done it, following the initial kick-off when St. Peter's now 13-year-old daughter went on The Ellen Show for her and her friend's mission to give back to those in need.
Last year, St. Peter says he put together about 200 meals with donations from the community.
St. Peter started off collecting just turkeys and donating them to the Waterville Food Bank -- but with the help of the community and friends, the effort grew to include all different kinds of food. St. Peter told NEWS CENTER Maine that this year, each meal delivered to someone in need will include seven to eight different food items.
The gratitude St. Peter has seen from people receiving the food over the years is a big reason why he and his family have decided to keep doing it -- because a tough situation that makes it difficult to buy enough food could always be right around the corner for anyone.
"We’ve heard a lot of stories. We’ve seen a lot of tears shed with the gratitude," St. Peter said. "They had no money to buy anything for Thanksgiving. They were just happy to get some food from the pantry that week to put in their cupboards -- and next thing you know, they have a meal to go along with it, so they could enjoy it."
People helping out with the cause dropped off food at the St. Peter home over the weekend.
St. Peter will be delivering meals Monday through Wednesday.