Meals of all kinds are badly needed for needy families

November 23, 2009 6:47:32 PM PST
Most of us are looking forward to Thanksgiving with a big meal, time with friends and family, but for too many people in this community, the holidays make daily hardship even more painful. The need up and donations are down. So, Bay Area food banks are struggling more than ever to fill the gaps.

The Kealoha Family knows the ugly side of the recession with no jobs, no place to live, and not enough food. The bright spot is each other.

"It's been difficult, but to have your family with you is much easier, much easier," says Melissa Kealoha.

Family makes it easier and harder. Many are asking for help for the first time. Alejandra is six month pregnant and her husband is desperately looking for work.

"I'm looking every day for work, something, one opportunity or something," says Roberto Jimenez.

The line at Sacred Heart Community Service does not offer employment, but it does provide thousands with a Thanksgiving dinner.

They have canned food, cooking oil, vegetables, milk and, of course, turkey, but those are in short supply.

Second Harvest Food Bank is the agency that funnels food to Scared Heart and more than 300 South Bay organizations.

It has a tally board with a goal of 10,000 turkeys and just over 2,100 collected. There is more of a demand, fewer donations, and the numbers are daunting.

"As far as the dollar to dollar goal, we're about $2 million off where we were at this time and our turkey donations we were down 3,000 off of where we were from this time last year," says Lynn Crocker with Second Harvest Food Bank.

In this economy, every act of kindness makes a difference.

"I don't think it takes a lot of encouragement, it takes a little knowledge," says Beverly Politzer, who donated two turkeys.

Knowledge that Bernadette Castro is waiting for hours so her two children can have a Thanksgiving dinner and will because of someone like Beverly.

"Yeah, we're grateful very much. Getting goose bumps," says Castro.

The Kealoha's say they too have reason to give thanks.

"We're both working now and got a roof over our heads so we're thankful. So we just want to say happy holidays to everyone," says Lenny Kealoha.

If the line of those in need is met by another offering help, the spirit of Thanksgiving will be shared by all.

To help Second Harvest or any Bay Area food bank, click on the link below.

LINKS:
ABC7 Safeway Holiday Food Drive

End Hunger Now


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