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Talking Turkey: Nonprofit's prepare to serve the masses

Sue Ellen Fry said in 2021 they were able to put together 800 bags but, with inflation and the surge of people getting sick with the flu, they knew the need would be greater in 2023.
Posted at 5:56 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 18:56:48-05

CORPUS CHRISTI — With Thanksgiving around the corner and inflation at an all time high, local churches and charities are prepared to feed more people for the 2022 holiday season.

“We’re only a band-aid,” Asbury United Methodist Church trustee Sue Ellen Fry said. “But at least it’s a band-aid to help them through a tough time.”

A time that should be worry free and celebrated.

“We’ve actually had people who came in after the deadline and we’ve had a waiting list,” Fry said.

Fry said there’s a waiting list after the first 1,000 Thanksgiving meal bags, organized by volunteers at the Asbury off South Staples Street and Yorktown Boulevard.

In 2021, they were able to put together 800 bags but, with inflation and the surge of people getting sick with the flu, they knew the need would be greater in 2023.

“Others, the whole family is down with COVID and they send a rep and say ‘We can’t get out of the house. We’re stuck,'” Fry said. “And we provide, so, yeah it’s out there big time.”

The bags are full of all of the sides people would need for a feast, and a $20 HEB gift card so they can buy their own turkey.

Because prices have gone up on just about everything, Fry said each bag cost about $40 dollars to put together.

“That’s $40,000 we gotta come up with and I believe we got about $3000 from H-E-B, which is wonderful, but subtract that from 40,000, there’s a lot to go,” Fry said.

Fry said their church, others and even strangers have really stepped up to help their neighbors.

“They’ll look at my cart and say, ‘you like pancakes’ and or something and I’ll say ‘food pantry’ and they say, ‘Well here’s another $20,” Fry said.

The kindness was also seen by volunteers for the Joe Salem Thanksgiving Dinner.
“We, by the grace of God, got extra donations this year,” Elaine Medina, a Joe Salem Thanksgiving Dinner organizer said.

To be on the safe side, the dinner will be drive thru again in 2022 and 500 meals will be distributed.

“We’ve seen that inflation and we’ve felt it but again we’ve prepared for it,” Medina said. “So that’s not going to be a problem and we just want everybody to come out, not worry about that.”

The 79th Annual Joe Salem Dinner will be on Thursday Nov. 24 from 12-2 p.m. at the Sokol Gym at 5502 Kostoryz rd.

Organizers said vehicles can start lining up at 11 a.m. and they must have an open trunk or window before entering the distribution line.

They ask people to stay in their cars.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.