Scranton sees rise in demand for families needing Thanksgiving dinners


SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Thanksgiving is one week away and people are preparing to get all their food ready for the big day that includes local non-profits.

Thursday, the Salvation Army in Scranton loaded trunks with ready-to-make meals.

This is the Salvation Army’s second year doing this giveaway. They are not the only ones who saw the need last year and are continuing to see the need this year.

Hundreds of cars lined Hickory Street as families wait in line to get a thanksgiving meal.

“They’re doing such a great job helping everybody and I always loved this church. I use to come here when I was younger,” said Holly Williams.

Williams is one of 300 people to pre-register for their family meal. The Salvation Army in Scranton ordered enough to serve an additional 100 for those who came last minute.

“It’s all family, all coming together, having a great meal and this is a blessing for everyone,” stated Williams.

The meal includes veggies fruit milk canned goods cookies and of course a turkey. Those in need are looking forward to it.

“Turkey! Turkey and all the trimmings and being with family,” said Harriet Gavin.

“A lot of people are still hit with financial situations with covid and other problems that they may have arrived from the pandemic. So, the little bit helps,” explained Gerri McAndrew, a volunteer.

Volunteers are the backbone of this operation. Make sure everyone is registered and fed in their household this Thanksgiving.

“We’re blessed with this stuff and we’re going to share it with them. It’s just, we feel it’s just our duty to be here and help people,” stated Major Karen Schmig, of the Salvation Army Scranton.

Food giveaways like this help other non-profits as they also look to fight hunger.

The Friends of the Poor in Scranton are also seeing an increase in the need for their hot Thanksgiving Meal Giveaway next week.

Organizers tell eyewitness news they anticipated about 900 meals for delivery alone but requests for delivery have increased to nearly 15,000.

Lackawanna county area agency on aging donated 10-thousand dollars to the friends of the poor to help fill that gap.

“We were prepared for at first for 64 turkeys and now we needed 98 and as many people know who are out looking for turkeys right now to cook their own meals. The pricing double if not more than what it was last year,” stated Meghan Loftus, President & CEO of Friends of the Poor.

Their request for delivery has nearly doubled and to help those in need they have ordered nearly 100 turkeys. To donate to Friends of the Poor click here.

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