Community steps up to make sure food pantry families get turkey for Thanksgiving

As holidays approach, food banks continue to see increase in demand

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Friday, the freezer at Loaves and Fishes was practically empty. By Monday, just three days ahead of Thanksgiving, it was nearly packed with turkeys.

The nonprofit said individuals and neighborhoods across Charlotte stepped in over the weekend and donated more than 600 turkeys for families in need.

Regina Woods dropped off three turkeys on Monday.

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“I brought them in because this is my version of giving back,” she told Channel 9. “I’ve been to Loaves and Fishes before in my lifetime, and I’m at a point where I feel like I can give back now.”

Loaves and Fishes said the need for turkeys has grown this year. Last year, they only gave out 1,000 turkeys. This year, they’re feeding 3,000 families.

On Monday, volunteers were busy packing food boxes for the 1,500 who are signed up for the food pantries and food shares this week. There are 10 left before Thanksgiving.

Channel 9 was there Monday as Jennifer Bankhead and a group of moms from Trinity Episcopal School in uptown donated 900 pounds of food. They hope their gift will help many this holiday week.

“We’ve seen the last few days since you aired the story (on Friday) – it’s funny, the food influx starting to come in,” Bankhead said. “It was a great gift being about, to bless and give back.”

Loaves and Fishes said they received 100 turkeys from Harris Teeter, and they’re expecting more from Second Harvest Food Bank. However, they could really use 500 more to fill the gap for the rest of the week.

“If you are able to do it, give back because you never know, maybe one day you will need it,” said Woods.

If you want to donate, you can drop a turkey off at their warehouse facility on Griffith Road, near Tyvola Road on until Wednesday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

>> If you would like to contribute to the Channel 9 virtual food drive, click here.

Original story: As holidays approach, local food pantrys seeing increase in demand

Keeping food on the table is a challenge for many in our community.

A recent survey conducted by the U.S. Census discovered 48% of households in North Carolina are “somewhat” or “not confident” that they can afford to buy food for the next four weeks.

The problem is having an impact on local food pantries.

Channel 9 reporter Gina Esposito spoke Friday to Tina Postel, the executive director at Loaves and Fishes.

She said before the pandemic, the organization was serving about 1,000 families each week. Now, Loaves and Fishes is serving more than 2,700 families per week.

On Friday, the organization said they ran out of turkeys. But after Channel 9 aired this story, they said businesses, neighborhoods and dozens of people came by Saturday and donated turkeys.

They have now collected more than 500 turkeys to help local families can celebrate Thanksgiving.

If you’d like to donate a turkey, you can drop one off at the Loaves and Fishes warehouse on Griffith Road, off Tyvola Road, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

(Loaves and Fishes)
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