The National Restaurant Association reports restaurants will play a big role in Thanksgiving this year, with more than 33 million Americans dining out or ordering pre-cooked meals for their holiday celebrations. Here is the breakdown:
- 4 million people will order their entire Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant to eat at home
- 8 million people will dine out while shopping on Thanksgiving Day or evening
- 14 million people will order part of their Thanksgiving meal from a restaurant to eat at home
- 15 million people will eat their Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant.
And a whopping 38 million shoppers will dine at restaurants on Black Friday.
But for just as many people in our nation, getting a Thanksgiving meal takes a lot more work than merely picking up the phone and calling a restaurant.
Feeding America reports that one out of every six Americans, including children and senior citizens, don’t have access to enough food. And in 2012, 6.2 million American households accessed emergency food from a food pantry or soup kitchen one or more times
Hunger is a serious problem in North Carolina too. In the 34 counties served by the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina, 560,000 people struggle each day to provide enough food for their families.
The North Carolina Justice Center’s Budget and Tax Center reports North Carolina has the fifth highest level of food insecurity in the nation. This means many people in our state will face the holidays with little or no food on their tables. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps people purchase food that meets their basic nutrition needs, but at the beginning of November, every North Carolinian receiving SNAP funds saw a cut to their benefits, and Congress is poised to make more deep cuts that will likely put more low-income families at risk of hunger.
The Food Bank is kicking off its holiday food drive Thanksgiving weekend with an ambitious goal to raise $350,000 by December 31. That is a challenging sum, but with hard work comes rewards, and the reward this holiday season is providing for 1.7 million meals for needy North Carolinians.
Here’s how you can help:
- A gift of $35 will provide enough food to sustain a family for over two weeks…
- A gift of $75 will provide groceries to an elderly couple for over two months…
- A gift of $150 will provide 750 piping hot holiday meals to folks in our communities!
Small gifts add up. Even if you don’t have much money to spare, remember even the few dollars you can contribute added to a few dollars from your friends or co-workers will grow into enough money to make a big difference to a family in need.
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