Local Tucson organizations are doing everything they can to ensure that those in need get home cooked warm meals, even when it is a little more than a week away from Thanksgiving.
“We believe that nobody should have to eat their holiday meal from a dumpster,” said Victor Hightower, the Gospel Rescue Mission’s outreach coordinator.
The Gospel Rescue Mission is preparing for its 29th Annual Thanksgiving Banquet, scheduled from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 312 W. 28th St. on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
Over one – hundred turkeys have been donated so far. Canned goods and ready-to-eat pies are still needed.
Excess food will be saved for the Christmas event or end up at local churches.
In 2016, the Gospel Rescue Mission dished out 2,800 Thanksgiving meals.
“The numbers have been dropping a little over the last 3-4 years, which could be a good thing, it means people are hopefully doing better. But we always prepare for 3,000,” Hightower said.
The Salvation Army is predicted to serve 2,000 people on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 1002 N. Main Ave. (Hospitality House) on Thursday, Nov. 23. That is 400 more than last year.
“It’s kind of more a central location. It’s right off the freeway. We’ll have 600 home bound meals. That is an increase from last year. This is our way of just giving back to those in need,” said Corey Leith, Salvation Army public relations director.
The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (CFBSA) is also keeping busy, helping organizations and people in need as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.
“It’s the time that they celebrate with their family and certainly at Thanksgiving people are thankful for what they have, and I think it reminds them of the people who don’t have the resources they have and so they reach in their pocket and help,” said Robert Mohelnitzsky, CFBSA volunteer.
In 2016, the CFBSA distributed nearly 300,000 food boxes to over 207,000 families and individuals.