Thanksgiving meals not guaranteed for everyone, nonprofits stepping up in Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) -Thanksgiving is a time of year when we enjoy good food and family time, but for some families that meal is not always guaranteed.

Data from the Georgia Food Banks Association shows even before the pandemic more than 300,000 Georgia family households relied on the Supplemental Nutritional Program (SNAP) and 66% of Georgians had to choose between food and their medical care.

This year families dealing with food insecurity are getting the support they need for Thanksgiving.

“Since the pandemic prices have risen and that’s one of the reasons I’m here,” Georgia resident Phillis Clark told Atlanta News First, while she was waiting in line for a free Turkey Saturday.

Clark said putting together a Thanksgiving meal for the people she loves is not an easy challenge, especially these days.

“I love baking cakes and butter is sky-high right now.”

Phillis is certainly not alone in this struggle either.

“Times are kind of hard, so we just appreciate the program,” Sheryl Reid, another Atlanta resident said.

Experts said many different struggles are still drawing more Atlanta families to lean on support in the community.

Hundreds made their way to this free turkey giveaway in south Atlanta to get fresh produce and a turkey at the Caring for Others non-profit organization.

“We just appreciate them servicing the community and giving us an opportunity to have a nice Thanksgiving,” Reid said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture shows food insecurity can vary based off the time of the year for some families and more than 10% of Georgians were food insecure last year.

It’s why nonprofits from all around the Georgia community are helping fill this ongoing void.

“We know there is a tremendous need and we’re feeding 1500 families today,” Caring for Others Non-Profit Board Chair, Crystal Khalil, said Saturday.

As the need continues to grow, support is expanding as well.

Dozens of volunteers from Second Helpings Atlanta nonprofit distribute nutritious food to thousands of families a week.

This Thanksgiving their team and Atlanta News First will be distributing food to those in need too.

If you are in need of a free turkey, you can pick one up on Nov. 22 starting at 3 p.m. while supplies last at 1583 West Haven Drive, Atlanta GA 30311.

Tori Cooper

Tori Cooper

Tori Cooper comes to Atlanta News First from 23ABC in Bakersfield, California, where she was a multimedia journalist and weekend morning anchor.