Food assistance increasing for Thanksgiving

ABC7 News at 4pm
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 7:52 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Many families across the Suncoast are needing a little extra help to provide a Thanksgiving meal this year.

Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee has helped hundreds of families stock up on food for Thanksgiving. According to President and CEO Maribeth Phillips the need for assistance has gone up since Hurricane Ian.

“We service over 85 pantries and agencies right here in Manatee County. They have continued to report to us that there’s an increased number of people that are coming to their food distribution,” said Phillips.

Lt. Shawn Dupree from the Salvation Army of Venice said they’ve also seen an increase in the areas they serve. So, Dupree and his wife decided to put on a feast for people in the area on Thanksgiving.

Even though this isn’t the first time they’ve provided a Thanksgiving meal, they said they’re having to prepare more food than before.

“Obviously after Hurricane Ian the need is much greater now than it was five months ago when we first arrived,” said Dupree. “I would say in the past we were prepared to serve maybe 200 meals. This holiday we’re prepared to serve about 350 meals.”

The Salvation Army of Venice will be serving food from 10 a.m. to noon at 1051 Albee Farm Road, Venice.

Both Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels Plus also have delivery options for those who cannot attend in person.