Posted: 11/21/2020 / 4:41 PM ESTUpdated: November 21, 2020 / 4:41 PM EST
SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) – Food insecurity affects many Central New Yorkers, but one church is hoping to make Thanksgiving a little happier for families this year.
The Table Community Food Pantry, along with several partners including Living Word Church, CNY's Food Bank, Central New York Community Foundation, Wegmans, Walmart, Panera Bread and others, offered free Thanksgiving meals to those in need on Saturday morning.
Lashelle Moore of Syracuse was one of hundreds waiting in the long line of Living Word Church cars. Given that she is nine months pregnant, this free turkey meal with all the ingredients was even more of a weight off her shoulders.
"Everyone is in line and I can't afford to stand in line so I had to get to the best and most comfortable place for us," said Moore. "Right now, I hope we can have this baby before Turkey Day so we can actually be home to actually enjoy it. If not, we'll probably be enjoying Turkey Day a little later this year!"
The Table Food Pantry, one of Living Word's community outreach ministries, has been feeding families for a little over a year. On Saturday, they gave Thanksgiving meals to more than 750 families, as well as an extra bag of basic groceries.
I think many of us have had needs and have been in a place where we need community support. And our church has been in a position where we can meet the needs of the community in this way, and we are privileged and honored to do so because we were there ourselves.
Auddie Mastroleo, Co-Director, The Table Food Pantry, Living Word Church
This year the giveaway was drive-up style because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Community members stayed right in their vehicle as volunteers put the food in the trunk.
This not only protected everyone, but also provided an opportunity to feed more families and meet the high demand.
"It is a belief building and it is a great blessing to be part of the ministry and to know that God is working in the lives of members of the church and the ward and together we really see such a strong mark of generosity," said Mastroleo.
I think it's a blessing just because a lot of families really can't afford it. You feel grateful and grateful for someone who stands up for you and for us families who really lack many things.
Lashelle Moore, resident of Syracuse
The Table Food Pantry is open to all members of the community twice a month. The Church can feed about 600 people a month, but they fed even more on Saturday alone.