Hunger is a problem year-round. But every November, there’s a little extra joy in sharing Thanksgiving meals with neighbors in need, by way of our amazing donors and Partner Agencies.

Grocers give back

One example is Harris Teeter. As part of their annual Harvest Feast campaign, they donated the food and volunteer manpower to create 2,000 Thanksgiving Dinner Bags for local families who would otherwise go without.

“It means a lot,” says Mark, a Harris Teeter manager in Wake Forest while packing the meal bags. “My wife’s always been in nonprofits and helping the people. It’s a great thing to be doing.”

Complete with poultry, dessert, and all the fixings in between, the Thanksgiving Dinner Bags did not stay at the Food Bank long. Partner Agencies were on site to pick up the bags and take them straight to their pantries, where they will distribute them to their clients in time for the big day.

“This is wonderful,” says ​​​Pat Haggard, Executive Director of the Holly Springs Food Cupboard. “Our clients will be so glad to have the extra food. We’re talking people who have trouble every day to put food on the table. This is the holiday season. They’re wanting to do extra for their family. Now they can.”

Thankful for turkeys

Also helping making Thanksgiving dreams come true for friends and neighbors is CrossFit Durham. Their 4th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive delivered 302 turkeys to the Food Bank.

CrossFit Durham Thanksgiving turkey donation

CrossFit Durham with their turkey donation

But they’re not alone! David Weekley Homes donated 1,492 pounds of turkeys and even more Thanksgiving birds were given to the Food Bank via the annual Turkeys for the Triangle program by Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston and Butterball.

“I’ll tell you what it’s one of those things,” the project’s founder, Don Walston, told CBS North Carolina. “It’s hard to describe the benefit when you see someone who really appreciates what you’re doing for them– it’s a– I don’t know how to describe it but it’s a warm feeling.”

And of course, there are the Wilmington Street Turkeys! Every year on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, volunteers from Wrightsville United Methodist Church dress up in turkey costumes and hold a ‘drive, drop, and go’ food drive in the Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach areas. They ask the community for Thanksgiving centerpieces, turkeys and hams, but also for pantry staples and monetary donations to restock and replenish Food Bank shelves, ensuring families will have food on Thanksgiving and the weeks that follow.

Even more to be thankful for

We know that no North Carolina Thanksgiving is complete without sweet potatoes in some way, shape, or form!

That’s why our Sandhills Branch has been working hard since November 7th to distributed approximately 184,000 pounds of sweet potatoes through Mobile Yam Jams.

And if you’re looking for a tasty, healthy way to add some to your Thanksgiving table,  our staff Nutrition Education Manager, Sara Clement, RD, LDN has selected just the recipe for you: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cranberries

The folks highlighted here are certainly not the only ones opening their hearts this Thanksgiving to provide the feeling of warmth, security, and belonging that comes from being around a meal with family. On behalf of the neighbors we serve, we are thankful for everyone who has given so generously to make sure nobody feels forgotten, and no one goes hungry this Thanksgiving.

You can make a difference this holiday season!

Hope for the holidays

We all know the feeling of warmth, security, and belonging that comes from being around a meal with family. But not every family is so lucky. This year, we’re asking you to help us provide hope for the holidays. Right now your gift goes twice as far, thanks to generous friends who are matching donations, up to $77,000!