Thanksgiving Meal Distribution Shines Light on Food Insecurity

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Thanksgiving looks a little different for a lot of people this year.

Other than the health restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the virus is also the reason why many people in our community are dealing with food insecurity. 

The pandemic has caused many people to go hungry increasing the demand for food more than ever. 

“I don’t have a job right now which sucks and being able to have a group like these people is awesome,” Claremont resident Erica Dahm said. “They do help out, this is a lot of food.”

Dahm is a single mom with two kids. She has no family in town and recently lost her job.

“I’m going through a hard time and I know a lot of people are, especially financially, so this really helps out,” said Dahm.

She’s one of the hundreds of families and individuals that lined up this morning to receive a free Thanksgiving meal. 

“We know that this time of year the need is tremendous,” said Lee Lescano, divisional secretary for the Salvation Army in San Diego.

As they do every year, the Salvation Army hosted a thanksgiving lunch except things were a little different. Instead of a sit-down meal, the group set up several distribution sites across the county where people could simply walk up or drive up, pick up a meal and go. 

It was all made possible by the dozens of volunteers who stepped up to help and give back to our community. 

“Knowing that there are a lot more people that are needing the extra help this year, anyway that we can give back, we’re thankful that we can have the opportunity to,” volunteer Sarah Carey said.

Carey and her kids have been volunteering with the Salvation Army for years and thanksgiving was a day they knew they couldn't skip out on. 

“Me being able to give them something of what I have is such an amazing feeling to know that,” said volunteer Truman Carey. “I’m actually helping people and not just wasting my time sitting in a chair and playing video games.”

Over 2,000 meals were distributed across San Diego. “But other than a full tummy this thanksgiving the Salvation Army hopes the community knows they are not alone in this tough time.

“Not only is it important to make sure families and individuals have food but for them to feel like we have a connection with them and to let them know they are cared for and that we love them," said Lescano.

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