Local News

Charities seeking Thanksgiving turkeys for the needy

Posted November 20, 2009 4:39 p.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2009 4:53 p.m. EST

— Charities across the Triangle are having more difficulty putting turkeys on the table for those in need this year.

"This is a banner year. It's a year that a lot of people really don't have anything for Thanksgiving, as well as food," said Shirley Wiggins, who organizes Helping Hands Mission.

Inter-Faith Food Shuttle workers and volunteers distributed turkeys and other foods to food banks in seven counties Friday. The turkeys will be given out locally.

"Turkeys are very expensive, and the wonderful thing this year is we've got whole turkeys. Just like you can make turkey soup, so can the people we are serving," Inter-Faith Food Shuttle director Jill Staton-Bullard said.

Rise and Shine Ministries, which works with the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina, has seen about three dozen more people who need help each week than normal.

"I guess because of the economy, people are suffering," said Jean Surlock, with Rise and Shine Ministries.

Helping Hands Mission is looking for donations to help fill the more than 2,000 Thanksgiving food baskets it expects to give out, Wiggins said.

"We've had some people that gave last year that this year are here asking for food," she said.

The Durham Rescue Mission needs donations, including hundreds of turkeys, to feed the crowd of about 500 that comes out for its annual Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Additionally, the mission has taken on another task for Thanksgiving Day: serving about 400 Meals on Wheels clients.

Rescue Mission officials said they are a little anxious about meeting the demand.

"This is a year that we don't really know what to expect. We've had record numbers here at the Rescue Mission in the past few weeks," Chief Operating Officer Rob Tart said.