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Lending a helping hand to nonprofits ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday

Posted at 11:42 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-19 13:03:33-05

INDIANA — We are 10 days away from Thanksgiving and nonprofits are working to make sure no one goes without a meal on the holiday.

Organizations are also in need of help to be able to offer meals to anyone.

Several have told WRTV their need is higher than ever before, which means they are in need of help with donations.

"In 2022 we've seen numbers continuously rise especially from May on. It's kind of like become the theme of the year — 'oh it's the biggest month we've ever had,'" Cindy Chavez, with Pantry 279 said. "That was June, July, August. October alone we served 2,700 families."

Help is needed all across Indiana.

People that have maybe never found themselves in a situation where they need to go seek out a meal are doing it for the first time," said Sarah Broadfoot from Second Helpings.

Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis doesn't offer prepared meals, but they will start handing out turkeys and hams at their regular distribution sessions on Tuesday.

RELATED: Gleaners returning to drive-thru distributions

  • In-person shopping: Tuesdays: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesdays: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Drive-thru distribution: Thursdays: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays: 9 a.m. to noon

They aren't the only ones offering staples that you can take home to cook.

Pantry 279 in Ellettsville, which is near Bloomington, is doing the same.

They are giving away 2,500 food boxes filled with everything needed for a Thanksgiving meal, but they don't have everything to fill the large need of the community.

"We're still going to be 200 families short," Chavez said. "We're still short though on like cranberry sauce [and] mashed potatoes. We still need some mac n cheese; we still need cornbread."

They also are in need of monetary donations, something Chavez says is underestimated.

"Money is always the hardest to get but yet the most needed," she said.

She says they get items at a discounted price — meaning what you can get for $10 at the store is far less than what they can get.

In Indianapolis, Second Helpings offers help to different nonprofits that provide food to people.

Sarah Broadfoot said the organizations they help are seeing a huge rise in the number of organizations needing help.

They are looking for a variety of items to get them prepared for Thanksgiving:

  • Protein
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Spices

As far as preparing hot meals on Thanksgiving, Wheeler Mission will be offering them and they need help too.

  • Turkey - 5 pans
  • Green beans - 3 pans
  • Corn - 2 pans
  • Stuffing - 4 pans
  • Sweet potatoes/yams - 4 pans
  • Other vegetables - 4 pans
  • pies and desserts - store-bought or homemade, pre-sliced
  • Paper goods
  • Sodas or tea
  • Individually wrapped snacks

*They are asking you to bring donations in a full-size 12"x20" catering pan. 

There is also a Friendsgiving event on the east side of Indianapolis.

1313 Eatery is offering a sense of belonging and helping to gather people around the table.

Ron Gee owns 1313 Eatery and said his main goal for the Friendsgiving is to have people gather around the table to try and curb the gun violence.

"I believe once a person interacts with another person in a setting that's loving, I believe it's going to be harder for you to kill me," Gee said.

The Friendsgiving is on Sunday at 4 p.m. and anyone can come.

Gee said they don't like to ask for anything but could use paper plates and anyone is welcome to bring food to the space.

They are also asking any restaurants that want to to donate a dish the day of the event.

It's events like these that community members from all over say they are grateful for.