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Wilson center helps thousands get Thanksgiving meal

Posted November 25, 2009

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— About 2,000 people stood out in chilly air and drizzle for hours in Wilson Wednesday morning to receive a free bag of groceries for Thanksgiving dinner.

Workers and volunteers at the Opportunities Industrialization Center, 801 Reid St. East, handed out 25-pound bags of food, including meat, vegetables and other staples.

The help was well received in a county with an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent in September.

"It's just really a blessing from God," said Bonnie Sugg.

About 50 people had lined up before dawn, and when doors opened at 8 a.m., the line wrapped all the way around the building.

Jerome Winstead said he arrived at 1:45 a.m. to be the first in line.

"If I had waited until 6 or 7 o'clock, I would have been back around the building," Winstead said.

Tekisha Dublin said she got there at 2:30 a.m. to make sure she got some food for her family of seven.

"Now, you've got to get here early, just in case there is not enough for everybody," she said. "The economy the way it is, it's going to run out quick."

Many of those in line shared stories of economic hardship like Dublin's.

"I just got a job in September, but I know we're going to get laid off of that job soon," Dublin said.

The food giveaway also included free health screenings for all those who want them, said Howard Jones, founder and president of OIC.

Last year, OIC had to turn away some people, but this year, donations didn't run out, and everyone who asked for help was able to get at least one bag of food, he said.

"It's a good feeling, yet it's a lonely feeling to know who much is needed, how bad things are," Jones said.

39 Comments

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  • bettyboopr2 Nov 25, 2009

    jas0508
    I agree

  • jas1022 Nov 25, 2009

    Phrostbite: Who in the govt. is qualified to give these people handouts? I see plenty of people abusing the system, yet you dems think it's okay and you are just lending out a helping hand. In actuality you are dragging this nation down.

  • bettyboopr2 Nov 25, 2009

    You people had "America the free" under George Bush, and look where that got us. Capitalism is just a nicer sounding word for GREED. Republicans almost destroyed America, now you need to sit back and remain silent and just watch as Obama implements his policies and we will grade him a few years from now. got it?
    alwayz2morrow

    Well under Obama the law abiding tax payers will suffer. What will happen when no one is left to pay taxes and provide for the lazy and illegals?

  • daisymom Nov 25, 2009

    I hope everyone who received food today needed it. I would hate to think of anyone being hungry. & yes, I know, there were probably some who got food and didn't need it, but what do you do???? how do you decide who does and doesn't need? really i'm serious, how do you tell?

  • Da Toy Maker Nov 25, 2009

    Y'all take a step back to reflect a bit:

    Be thankful if you and your family have plenty to eat and a roof over the head. Be thankful that you have a job that you have been working very hard to provide for yourself and your love ones. For those who do everything you could to support yourself and your love ones, may God bless you and you have a much better life for your and your love ones.

    For those of you who are done on your luck, hope things will turn around soon and you will be able to find a job to support yourself and your love ones.

    For those of you thinking that you are entitled to things and everyone should help you, hope will wake up and take charge of your own destiny.

    Happy Holidays, y'all.

  • alwayz2morrow Nov 25, 2009

    You people had "America the free" under George Bush, and look where that got us. Capitalism is just a nicer sounding word for GREED. Republicans almost destroyed America, now you need to sit back and remain silent and just watch as Obama implements his policies and we will grade him a few years from now. got it?

  • p02h03 Nov 25, 2009

    Funny that after I posted my comment that WRAL changed the headline from: "Wilson center helps needy get Thanksgiving meal" to "Wilson center helps thousands get Thanksgiving meal". The latter is more accurate. Gee, did you guys decide to actually do some reporting? If so, that would be a headline in and of itself.

  • findoutthefacts Nov 25, 2009

    What kind of screening did they do to ensure the people they gave food to were truly needy?

  • tommys5 Nov 25, 2009

    Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt

  • Gork Nov 25, 2009

    Beach4me - 20 inch wheels, etc. comments like that... But, you know better. Got your propane turkey fryer ready?

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