Thanksgiving week is always stressful for needy families. This year, in the midst of a pandemic, the holiday week is an even more anxious time period, and food relief agencies are extremely busy.
One of those non-profit groups, MobileSchoolPantry.org, is passing out Thanksgiving turkeys, pies, fixings, and fresh produce to 755 families over the course of three days at three different schools in Broward County.
Mobile School Pantry operates in nine public schools during the school year, bringing fruits and vegetables to those school families once a week. They’re ramping up their operation for the holiday.
“I always like to say, the working poor make minimum wage, and what could you really buy with minimum wage to provide for your children?" said Zeina Zein-Wolland, the founder of Mobile School Pantry.
"The Pantry provides fresh fruits and vegetables, that’s really where it’s hard for families to go buy a bag of grapes, it’s hard for them to buy raspberries, we really want to give them the fresh stuff, to teach kids at a young age the importance of eating healthy."
When asked whether she was seeing a greater need for assistance ahead of the holidays, Zein-Wolland said "Absolutely. Think about people who are on unemployment right now, going to buy a turkey that’s $20 or $30 for a turkey, some people are choosing this year to pay a bill or to eat their Thanksgiving meal, so it was even more important for us to come out."
The clients have preregistered to receive the Thanksgiving food care packages, and 242 families picked them up in a drive-thru process at Gulfstream Early Learning Center Monday afternoon.
“Oh, this help a lot, you know a lot of people have no job right now,” said Nadia Rosh, one of those in the lines of cars waiting her turn.
“Because of this virus now and my son’s not working, I’m retired now, I have a lot of health problems, it helps me really a lot,” said Dania Seaman, who said she was grateful for the assistance.