Turkey Dinners Given To Less Fortunate

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Turkey with all the trimmings is on the Thanksgiving menu at local churches and community groups serving those less fortunate for the holiday. Several organizations are filling a growing need in central Ohio.

Volunteers with Neighborhood Services Incorporated helped residents in the North Fourth Street neighborhood fill their cart with all the necessities for a Thanksgiving feast. Dennis Bradley works 5 days a week, but finds the money doesn’t stretch far enough for the holidays.

“So your job doesn’t provide enough money then for you to. Yea I get money but you know this helps out,” said Bradley.

28 year old Khaya Nelms is the mother of a 3 year old son and pregnant with her second child.

“Oh it helps me a lot especially toward the end of the month when food stamps run out I can come and get me extra meat to last me until I get my food stamps for the next month. It really, really, it’s a benefit to the community. It really is, said Nelms.

Cheryl Carter directs the social service agency. She says 250 families will get assistance for a Thanksgiving meal this year. That’s about 50 more families than last year.

“Many of them wouldn’t have a special holiday dinner if we weren’t here and the community wasn’t providing these kinds of donated foods for the family so that they can enjoy their day on Thursday,” explained Carter.

At Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Downtown Columbus, volunteers packed boxes filled with food to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Reverend Sharon Tucker explains 35 families will get all they need.

“They get of course turkey, dressing, they get everything. They get cranberries, they get mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugar, flour. They get everything it takes to make the meal,” explained Tucker.

Tucker says the need is greater this year.

“I’m seeing larger families. Like last year, we probably we had maybe 3 families that had 8 and then the others were like 4, 3. But this year, we’ve got at least 10 families that have 8 and one family that has 9,” said Tucker.

In the kitchen, volunteer Glynnda Moore is cooking macaroni and cheese for the dinner that will be served to 200 people after Thanksgiving church services.

“This is one of Jesus’ commands that we feed his people, that we show love toward others, and by showing love toward others we feed people because we know there are a lot of people in need,” said Moore.

25 hundred people in central Ohio will get their meals delivered by Volunteers of America. This is the 20th year the organization has held a Thanksgiving Day Care-A-Van program. Spokeswoman Kathryn Lecklider says the meal reservations go fast and unfortunately funding is not increasing.

“They are definitely down a little bit. We have continuous supporters that are wonderful, that really make a huge difference, but we are always looking for donations,” said Lecklider.

Volunteers will prepare the turkey meals at the convention center that will include more than four thousand pounds of turkey, 500 pounds of mashed potatoes, 120 gallons of gravy, 800 pounds of stuffing and 25 hundred rolls.