Thanksgiving meal help


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie. Just a few of the staple items people think about when planning Thanksgiving dinner, but some families can only think about where their next meal will come from.

“For several years, we’ve been, at Thanksgiving time, doing something special for Garden Hills elementary school families and patrons of the food pantry,” Paula Hancock, the executive director for McKinley Foundation, said.

That’s when food pantries, churches, other organizations and volunteers step into action. Including the McKinley foundation in Champaign.

Hancock said, for years, they have put together Thanksgiving baskets for families in need. It includes the big things like pie and turkey, all the way down to things like butter.

Anything someone who is food insecure could have a hard time getting. Hancock said things have changed because of the pandemic.

“In the past, some church members, it was a thing they could do. They could go shopping for the food we had a list, and then we would put them together. But since COVID, we’ve had to stop taking those types of donations and rely entirely on financial donations,” she said.

She said the number of families who need help nearly doubled. So, with donations of money, they get the food and put the baskets together themselves.

Hancock said it was hard last year, and this year they’ve run into yet another issue.

“One of the challenges, almost as much as raising money, is getting our hands on the food because of supply chain shortage,” she said.

But she said they will always make it happen for those in need.

The foundation is still taking donations. You can learn more at their website, here.

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