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Food pantries prepare to help families ahead of Thanksgiving

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The average family in the United States will spend nearly $50 this Thanksgiving for a feast that feeds 10. 

However, not everyone can afford that cost. 

Nearly 13 percent of Michiana families live in food insecure homes, making it difficult to host a Turkey Day celebration. 

“Usually people give up food first if they’re paying their rent, utilities, medication,” said Marijo Martinec, executive director of the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. 

That’s where organizations like the Food Bank of Northern Indiana syep in. 

“Hunger exists in every community in the United States,” said Martinec. 

This Thanksgiving Martinec’s organization will give away 1,600 turkeys and 200 holiday meal boxes. 

“Busy time of year, but the need really continues to be so great,” said Martinec. 

It’s a similar scene at the Mishawaka Food Pantry. 

“We’ve gotten turkeys donated,” said Mike Hayes. 

The non-profit will feed up to 300 people with their annual Thanksgiving dinner this Wednesday and another 40 families with meal kits. 

Hayes says community members donate about 1,800 pounds of food this time of year. 

“Without their services, a lot of these things couldn’t happen,” said Hayes. 

And while Thanksgiving requires a few months of preparation, both organizations believe bellies full of turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie make it worthwhile. 

“Truly want to make this Thanksgiving a bit more delicious for people who are in need of food assistance,” said Martinec. 

To donate food or money, or volunteer with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, click here

To donate food or money, or volunteer with Mishawaka Food Pantry, click here.

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