Safe Children Coalition provides 450 Thanksgiving meals to families in need

WWSB ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 2:00 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn


Volunteers at Safe Children Coalition in north Sarasota filled up hundreds of trunks with Thanksgiving meals for those in need. Families received a turkey large enough for 8 people, vegetables, sides, and a pumpkin pie. The meals are provided by Publix at a discounted price to support the effort.

This is the 22nd year in a row the child welfare nonprofit organization has distributed these meals thanks to generous community donations. In total, they have fed over 6,000 homes during the holiday seasons.

We spoke to some of the volunteers about how it feels to give back to the community.

‘It feels like I’m actually doing something to help out, so it’s pretty amazing,’ said Hunter Gipson, a Booker High student and volunteer at the drive-thru.

A group of friends, Jelani, Joshua, and Cortnei have been participating in this day of giving back since they were 12 years old. Now, at the age of 26, they reflect on how volunteering here has become somewhat of a tradition.

‘We felt so good inside doing it, so we just thought why not come back every year, and we have,’ said Cortnei.

Many of the hundreds of people receiving the food from this distribution would not have a Thanksgiving without it.

‘I am so excited that my son will be so happy I am here getting a turkey for him,’ said Odalis Higuera, a mother living in Sarasota.

‘Giving Tuesday’ is coming up November 28th, if you would like to donate to the Safe Children Coalition, visit their website at