New Freedom Farm hosts Thanksgiving meal for veterans, their families

The non-profit takes pride in serving those who have served

It’s a tradition that started in 2016 – New Freedom Farm hosts a free Thanksgiving meal for veterans and their families every year.

BUCHANAN, Va. – It’s a tradition that started in 2016 – New Freedom Farm hosts a free Thanksgiving meal for veterans and their families every year.

“It’s getting bigger and bigger, I started my very first year with 17 people, and then it got to 64, and 155, and 257 and it’s just growing and growing and growing,” said Lois Dawn Fritz, Founder/Director of New Freedom Farm.

This is just one way the non-profit strives toward its mission: to provide veterans and first responders with refuge and rehabilitation from trauma.

“Lots of times holidays are really stressful, especially for veterans who have trauma and it’s a safe place for everyone to go and be themselves and they’re around like-minded people,” she added. “The meal is more than about the food, it’s about fellowship and being around others on Thanksgiving.”

“Being in the military and you’re deployed and you’re having food together with your brothers in arms, here it’s like the same thing. You don’t have anywhere to go,” said veteran Andrew Kintgen.

Kintgen attended the event in 2019 and he enjoyed it so much that he now comes back as a volunteer. He’s one of many veterans who find the event so impactful.

“The reaction is just amazed that we’re having food in the barn, for one. But those same people request to have the same chair when they come back and get served by the same person,” he added.

On Thanksgiving, New Freedom Farm takes pride in giving back.


About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.