CONWAY, Ark. — Eating good food and exchanging gifts may come to mind when thinking of the holidays, and the Salvation Army is making sure that’s something everyone can look forward to.

“It didn’t matter if you were here to shop or if you were just walking by and smelled the food, you were more than welcome to come in and eat,” Asst. Manager of the family store Sharon Beasley said.

Richard Fulton has been attending the Thanksgiving banquet at the Salvation Army in Conway for years.

The community can enjoy a hot meal and companionship at no cost.

“Community, you know. Everybody's reaching out to show that people care,” Fulton said.

Afterward, Fulton remains at the Salvation Army Family Store. He volunteers there because he’s thankful for the love he’s received.

“Conway’s full of good people,” Fulton said.

The store allows people of all incomes to take part in the receiving and giving during the holiday season.

“There’s great people that work here and there’s great people that work and donate,” Fulton said.

The store is a gift that continues to give all year long.

“Eighty cents of every dollar goes back into our social services to help put on benefits like we did. Just free food and it also offers food boxes and clothing vouchers to people who don’t have any clothing, people who have lost their homes,” Beasley said.

Staff said seeing people smiling when they leave makes it all worth it.

“Just to hear that they were really happy and really pleased, and that they would love to see more of that,” Beasley said.

The Salvation Army is always accepting donations and will be putting more Christmas items out this week.

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