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      Hundreds in need get Thanksgiving food from Housing Authority

      The Columbia Housing Authority gave away 250 Thanksgiving baskets Monday.

      COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) -- It was a great start to the week for Phillip Perry.

      He was one of 250 people who got a letter in the mail for a free Thanksgiving basket; thanks to the Columbia Housing Authority.

      "The good lord gave us good life and strength," Perry said. "We are able to share that. I'm glad that the Housing Authority could share that with me."

      Perry, an unemployed Army veteran, was chosen at random out of roughly 5,000 Housing Authority clients.

      The basket is stuffed with a turkey, ham, collard greens, and several other Thanksgiving items. The agency also gave away donated coats as winter approaches.

      It was a nice surprise for Perry, who is undergoing treatment for diabetes. He has depended on Harvest Hope for food in the last year.

      Housing Authority Assistant Executive Director Donna Gilbert said helping so many people in need is what the housing authority is all about.

      "I talked with a family,"Gilbert said. "It was a grandmother that is taking care of six of her grandchildren. They did not have anything and she just had a relative that was deceased. It means a lot for people to be able to donate. So anything we can do certainly is a help. And it gives all of us satisfaction," said Gilbert.

      Perry hopes it is a blessing that will continue to spread.

      "Thank you to everyone who contributed, and everyone who has a chance to achieve and receive such a gift," said Perry.