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Community helps MFB Give Thanks

In a nearly decade-long tradition, Midwest Food Bank joined local organizations to provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need. This tradition (now called "Give Thanks") has grown over time, as have the organizations involved. Last weekend, MFB, in partnership with Home Sweet Home Ministries and Thrivent, held Give Thanks 2020. It was heart-warming to see so many local churches, businesses, families, and individuals give time and food so generously.

In August, we began collecting donated food (a program called "Big Give"). Bloomington-Normal HyVee and Schnucks locations sold "turkey cards" for customers to purchase the birds to donate. The stores also had other Thanksgiving meal items gathered for easy purchase and donation. Employees of Exelon in Clinton, Bridgestone-Firestone, and BroMenn donated a large number of turkeys. These companies offered their employees a turkey and many chose to donate them. Many generous individuals and families also donated the items. 

In addition to the food donations, many community volunteers spent time building and packing the boxes, and distributing them at the event. Vale Church, TenTac employees, and Youth Build are among the groups who pitched in to help this year. More than 20 churches helped with purchasing and gathering the food.

At last, the days of "Give Thanks" arrived. On Saturday, November 21, and Monday, November 23, families drove through Midwest Food Bank to receive the food. 

The effects of the COVID pandemic impact were present. All of the volunteers wore masks. Drivers remained in their vehicles with their windows rolled up while volunteers loaded the meals. While it seemed like fewer cars came through the distribution, many were picking up food for multiple families.

2,500 boxes of food had been assembled, and over 2,300 turkeys and boxes were given away. Those that were not distributed will go to the nonprofit food pantries MFB serves.

Midwest Food Bank, Home Sweet Home Ministries, and Thrivent offer their thanks to the churches, businesses, and individuals who gave so generously. Many homes that might not have been able to celebrate will now enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving meal. 

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