Local family members reunited for first time since pandemic for Thanksgiving

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GATES, N.Y. — If you were out and about doing some last-minute holiday food shopping, then you know how busy it was.

In the mix of the rush, we spoke to a family who is reuniting for the first time since COVID.

“This is my first time back to Rochester since before COVID, and it’s going to be my first time seeing my mother and my sister before COVID,” Nancy Reaves said.

It was an emotional reunion this Thanksgiving for Rochester native Nancy Reaves. She’s been living in North Carolina and COVID kept her apart from her family for the last several years. Reaves broke down in tears talking about being back with her family and what COVID put them through.

“It really had a big effect on our family because I wasn’t able to go and visit with them and they weren’t able to visit with me, so this is the first time we’re going to be together in almost four years,” Reaves said.

Reaves says the second her flight touched down in Rochester, she wanted to take a trip down memory lane. The first stop was Big M in Gates for some Thanksgiving fixings.

“I haven’t been to Big M in years, so I feel like I’m home.”

Nancy wasn’t the only shopper jumping around to snag fan favorites off the shelf. Here is what other customers had to say about the last-minute holiday rush.

“It was a madhouse at Wegmans, so I had to come here to Big M,” Phillis Alexander said. “Not a big crowd, it was good.”

“It’s been crazy,” Libby Serami and Lexi Cardarelli told us. “Everywhere I’ve been has been crazy. You had to come here at the crack of dawn or like now where you have a little time.”

“Big M, I’ve been shopping here for 16 years, and I never have any issue finding anything,” Nicole Macbay said.

“It warms my heart and I can’t wait to eat my mother’s cooking,” Reaves added.

If you didn’t make it out you still have a chance to get what you need for the table. Big M in Gates will be open for holiday hours, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday.