A perfect storm of food costs and winter temperatures poses a looming crisis for City Union Mission.
The Christ-centered organization, which provides homeless men, women and children with shelter, clothes, food and counseling, is already seeing huge demand.
The Mission says that inflation, the rising price of food and housing costs is driving the increase as Thanksgiving approaches.
The Mission, who along with Harvesters, has experienced a significant increase in families and individuals seeking out community assistance programs and additional support. For thanksgiving, the Mission plans to provide hundreds of Thanksgiving Food Boxes– filled with items to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal and a Butterball turkey voucher – to qualified low-income individuals and families throughout the metro area.
While the Mission saw record donations at the end of its giving campaign last winter, the resources have struggled to meet the demand.
“Our Thanksgiving Food Box outreach gives struggling families the dignity of giving thanks together over a meal they’ve prepared at home,” said City Union Mission Chief Executive Officer Terry Megli. “We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of food box requests from low-income families who can’t afford the cost of preparing a traditional holiday meal due to the soaring food prices. We’re asking the community to join with us to ensure families in need enjoy the opportunity to gather around the table with their loved ones for a delicious Thanksgiving meal.”
The Mission expects to provide more than 300 Thanksgiving Food Boxes that will feed an estimated 900 individuals. That’s a 39% increase in the number of meals provided compared to 2021. The assistance helps low-income families remain in their own homes as they celebrate Thanksgiving. The ministry will also serve a traditional “sit-down” holiday meal to Mission guests and community members.
City Union Mission relies on community support to provide the Thanksgiving meals they say they are grateful for the donations and volunteers who have already contributed to make these meals possible. “The demand for our outreach services is great this holiday and we are asking our community to join with us to meet the increased needs of our low-income neighbors,” said Megli. “Together we can turn Thanksgiving into a time of celebration instead of another holiday hungry and alone.”
How you can help:
For a list of holiday food needs and drop-off locations or to make a financial donation to help provide holiday and other meals, visit cityunionmission.org. Low-income individuals and families in need of a Thanksgiving food box can register at the Mission’s Community Assistance Center.
Lists of urgent needs, volunteer opportunities and information on their year-round programs and services can also be found on the Mission’s website.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice