By Patty Leon, Lewis Levin, Lawrence Dorsey
According to feedamerica.org 1,318,500 people in Georgia are struggling with hunger - and of them 405,380 are children. And in the middle of a pandemic, where people are losing their jobs, struggling to pay bills and feed their families, several people in Liberty County have stepped up to help others.
On Nov. 21, the Riceboro Youth Center, in partnership with Liberty County Manna House East End Outreach, gave away 165 Thanksgiving meals bags. The bags were filled with turkeys and all the trimmings and given to the first families that arrived at the Youth Center.
Meanwhile on Nov. 23, the Trendsetters Motorcycle Club surprised several people by paying their grocery bills at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Allenhurst and the Food Lion in Hinesville. The community-minded club has been around for 21 years and gifting Thanksgiving groceries for the past 16 years.
“It’s just something we do to give back to our community and our families,” club President Keith Morris said.
“It was unexpected,” Tiffany Kennedy said after the club paid her groceries. “We had a hardship this year…this was very helpful.”
“It was really sweet and unexpected,” Carissa Greenfield said.
And as he’s done for the past several years Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes delivered several hundred boxes containing a full Thanksgiving meal to families in need across the County the day before Thanksgiving.
On Nov. 25, many drove and some even walked to snatch a free thanksgiving dinner prepared by the Liberty County Manna House on Memorial drive. Manna House anticipated providing up to 200 meals to those who otherwise wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving meal. The meals consisted of turkey, ham, vegetables and salad. Water bottles were also provided. Manna House also gave away 700 frozen turkeys to veterans and seniors.
“For the last three days we’ve been taking care of people by giving them turkeys and all the trimmings and today we gave away the meals,” Manna House Director Katrina Deason said.
She said they had the help of Sho’ Nuff Smoking Good BBQ who cooked the turkey and hams they gave away.
She said there has been an increase in middle class people who are now experiencing food insecurities due to the pandemic.
“Nobody should be hungry on Thanksgiving,” she said. “It wouldn’t be satisfying to sit down to a nice meal and eat all that we eat without thinking about a neighbor that might not have food. It helps me have a good Thanksgiving because I know I’ve done my part to put food on somebody else’s table.”
WATCH VIDEO of the food giveaway.