NEW HAVEN, Conn. — With Thanksgiving less than a week away, more people across the state are lending a helping hand to make sure every person who needs a Thanksgiving turkey has one on their table.
"I was shocked when I saw all of them coming through with bags and baskets," said Naomi Matos, a senior from New Haven.
A truck full of turkeys, potatoes, and vegetables was ready for pick up, donated by the community to people in need at Atwater Senior Center in New Haven.
"Over the next couple of days, we’ll give out 600-700 baskets, and over the next five days, we’ll do 1,500 baskets in the greater New Haven area," said Paul Bronson, the outreach pastor with Vertical Church.
Eighty senior citizens came for their Thanksgiving baskets on Friday morning, all thanks to the United Way, Vertical Church, and volunteers from the Elm City working to make sure no one goes hungry this holiday season.
"One of the ways we do that is with food because food is a growing issue for our community," said Jennifer Healy, president, and CEO of the United Way, Greater New Haven.
For the seniors, picking out the fixings for their Thanksgiving feasts means more this year than in years past, with many struggling with inflation.
"They're very excited to know someone cares enough to help them out with the economy the way it is, and the prices are so high, so it’s really a blessing," said Joanne Taylor, a volunteer handing out turkeys.
"They’re joyful, they always have a smile and it’s great to have community with our seniors," said Bronson.
The 13-pound turkeys and fresh produce are a way to show the seniors their community has their backs.
It's a message, some say, they're thankful for.
"It means a lot. I thank the Lord, I thank everyone that helps with that, there’s people that really don’t have anything," said Matos.
The hard work doesn’t end on Friday. Donation drives will be continuing Saturday and in the coming days at different locations across New Haven.
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