Oklahoma mega-church canceled its Thanksgiving giveaway due to COVID-19
The church was busted in the past for not practicing Oklahoma's COVID-19 guidelines
“Friendsgiving,” Victory Church’s annual tradition where the mega-church gives away food to its members and neighbors around Thanksgiving, has been canceled due to COVID-19.
The cancellation, which was announced on the church’s Facebook page, has been attributed to the rising cases of coronavirus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, NBC News reported.
“We did not have the Friendsgiving event today that we do every year. This year we changed it up and gave away boxed meals with turkeys, hams, and dry goods for those in need to take home and prepare for their families,” Director of Operations Daniel Henshaw wrote to NBC News in an email.
According to Henshaw, this year, Oklahoma’s Victory Church was supposed to giveaway more than 13 million meals this holiday.
Despite the giveaway getting canceled, a service was held in the Oklahoma church the following weekend at 50% capacity, with the church practicing social distancing and utilizing masks and hand sanitization stations.
“As a church in our community, we are here to serve those who choose to walk in our doors, but we also offer our services online for those members or families that choose to watch from home,” Henshaw said.
The church’s intentions of following COVID-19 guidance might have stemmed from recent criticism from its indoor concert on Nov. 18.
The Kansas City Star reported that the event had about 2,500 people in attendance. Tulsa, Oklahoma limits gatherings with more than 500 people and they need an approved COVID-19 safety plan from the Tulsa Health Department two weeks in advance.
As of Wednesday, the Kansas City newspaper reported more than 1,400 people in Oklahoma hospitals due to the virus, and only 50 adult ICU beds available in the state.
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