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Volunteer serving healthy meal to families in food bank

Source: Steve Debenport / Getty

The holidays are just around the corner and this can be a very busy time of year for everyone including nonprofit organizations trying to provide for families in need.  At the Durham Rescue Mission as part of the preparation for the holiday season, Rodney Wilson is in charge of counting the food stored in the basement.

There is a lot of food in storage, however when an organization is preparing to feed a thousand people for a Thanksgiving dinner, empty spaces in the basement prove that there are not enough supplies.  Durham Rescue Mission chief operating officer, Rob Tart said “You can see that our shelves are getting empty and we’re getting into a busier time of year. We should be bursting at the seam right now.”

The Durham Rescue Mission’s goal is to get at least 200 turkeys for their big Thanksgiving dinner. So far, they have collected about 90, and Tart said the organization still needs beans, corn, and peas.

Tart also said he expects that there will be a greater demand for food this year “I think it’s going to be a little bit of a bump, just given the feel of the homeless community in general. The improvement to the economy, I don’t know if it’s been felt this low in the social order yet.”

Wilson doesn’t just work at the Durham Rescue Mission, he lives there while working to get back on his feet and recovering from alcoholism.  Wilson definitely doesn’t take anything for granted, he said “It’s amazing what people will come out and do for people in my situation.”

Following Thanksgiving, the Durham Rescue Mission will begin collection toys that will be given away to children age 12 and under at a Dec. 23 event.  Tart explained “Right after Thanksgiving, we jump into our Christmas planning, where we start gathering toys and we need a lot of volunteers.”

The Salvation Army of Wake County said that they just ended their Christmas registration for families in need. This year, about 8,000 kids registered for the Angel Tree program, which is down by about 800 from last year.


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