2K families receive free Thanksgiving meal in DeKalb County

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 6:17 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2022 at 12:48 PM EST
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LITHONIA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - It’s hard to believe, but we’re just one week away from Thanksgiving Day and now 2,000 families in Decatur are set with a turkey and all the fixings thanks to a local law firm and a Lithonia church.

After hours of standing in the cold Thursday morning, volunteers have finally wrapped things up after handing out 2,000 Thanksgiving meals to people in need.

We all have our favorite Thanksgiving dish.

“Probably the macaroni,” said Michelle Williams, who came out to get food.

But buying even the basics right now can be a struggle for many families.

“I just bought a gallon of milk for like $6.75, so, that was a lot for me,” Williams said.

According to Feeding America, one in nine Georgians faces food insecurity. That was seen Thursday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church when folks started lining up at midnight for the free Thanksgiving meals.

“It’s really needed right now. I mean, work is hard, just trying to survive as a single parent,” said Williams.

“Really speaks how deep the need is of food insecurity and I’m just so grateful the church is able to provide,” said Dr. Jamal Bryant, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

The church partnered with Witherite Law Group to make sure each car got a whole turkey, fresh produce, and food to feed a family for a week.

“No background checks, no check stubs. Just if you’re hungry, all you have to do is pull up,” Bryant explained.

According to research by the Urban Institute, families reporting food insecurity are on the rise this year. And the American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that Thanksgiving dinner will cost 20% more than it did last year because of the inflation we’re seeing.

“The increase is still going up, unfortunately. So, we’re here to serve the community,” said Kerrie Pabon with King’s Table.

“It’s a big help to figure out and not have to pull from other resources to have a Thanksgiving that we’ve been used to in the past,” Williams said.

While New Birth Baptist doesn’t have events of this magnitude all the time, they do offer free food every week on Saturday mornings through their King’s Table Food Ministry program.