SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Food insecurity impacts many Central New Yorkers, but one church is hoping to make Thanksgiving a little happier for families this year.
The Table Community Food Pantry, joined by multiple partners, including Living Word Church, the Food Bank of CNY, the Central New York Community Foundation, Wegmans, Walmart, Panera Bread and more, provided free Thanksgiving meals to those in need Saturday morning.
Lashelle Moore of Syracuse was one of hundreds waiting in the long line of cars at Living Word Church. Considering she’s nine months pregnant, this free turkey dinner with all of the fixings was even more of a weight off her shoulders.
“Everyone’s in line and I can’t afford to stand in a line, so I had to come to the best and convenient spot for us, ” Moore said. “Right now, I’m hoping we can have this baby before Turkey Day so we can actually be at home to actually enjoy it. If not, I guess we’ll be enjoying Turkey Day a little late this year!”
The Table Food Pantry, one of Living Word’s community outreach ministries, has been feeding families for just over a year. On Saturday, they gave more than 750 families Thanksgiving meals, as well as an additional bag of basic necessities.
I think that many of us have experienced need, and have been in a place where we need the support of the community. And our church has been in a position where we’re able to meet the needs of the community in this way, and we’re privileged and honored to do so because we’ve been there ourselves.Auddie Mastroleo, Co-Director, The Table Food Pantry of Living Word Church
This year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the giveaway was drive-up style. Members of the community stayed right in their vehicle, as volunteers placed the food in the trunk.
This not only kept everyone safe, but also served as an opportunity to feed more families and meet the high demand.
“It’s faith building and it’s such a blessing to be a part of the ministry, and to know that God is working in the lives of church members and the community and together, we really see such a powerful display of generosity,” Mastroleo explained.
Well, I think it’s a blessing just because a lot of families really can’t afford it. It actually makes you feel thankful and appreciative of somebody who’s staking out for you guys and for us families that really lack a lot of things.Lashelle Moore, Syracuse Resident
The Table Food Pantry is open twice a month for anyone in the community. The church is able to feed about 600 people per month, but Saturday alone, they fed even more.