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Charities are stepping up to help families with holiday food

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:50 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The season of giving is in full swing. We took a look inside the Master’s Table Soup Kitchen where Golden Harvest food bank is busy prepping for its Thanksgiving meal.

Last year, we saw the need for food assistance jump more than 20 percent in our area because of the pandemic, and Golden Harvest says the need is just as high this year.

There are new challenges, but local groups are getting through them to give back.

For example, cars lined the street at the James Brown Arena for the annual James Brown turkey giveaway on Monday morning. And just a street down from the arena, Golden Harvest volunteers were in the kitchen.

“We’re not in a panic and the crisis that we were at the very onset when there’s so much unknown about the pandemic. But you know, we still are operating in a really challenging arena,” said Amy Breitmann, Golden Harvest executive director.

“We’re also prepping for Thanksgiving Day meal, which is a traditional turkey, dressing and all the sides. So the kitchen was really busy,” she said.

In addition to the normal daily soup kitchen meal, they’re preparing to serve about 225 people on Thanksgiving.

“We’ll probably see more folks on Thursday because we have more families with children that show up,” said Breitmann.

Just like last year, Golden Harvest estimates one in five people in our area is food insecure. Then unemployment, empty store shelves, and financial uncertainty drew people to food banks. This year the reasons are a little different.

“Mainly that’s because of the rising costs of rent and mortgages. Your eviction rates are really high. Gas prices have gone through the roof as well as food costs. So we’re really seeing more especially working families that are just having a hard time getting together their budget,” she said.

It’s a hard time for many – but people are stepping in to help.

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