Hope Ministries is preparing more than 3,000 Thanksgiving meals
Kitchen staff are asking the community to donate needed food items, such as ground meats and dinner rolls, before the holiday.
DES MOINES, Iowa — With the Thanksgiving holiday just days away, community organizations across the metro are working to get food to those who need it.
Hope Ministries of Des Moines provides fresh, warm meals to those in need 365 days a year. But our greatest day of need always falls on Thanksgiving.
“We’ve seen over the years that no matter how many Thanksgiving meals we can serve, we fill them,” Chief Development Officer Cathy Cody told Local 5.
More than 100 volunteers from Hope Ministries will come together on Thanksgiving morning to cook and serve warm holiday meals. They provide a full spread for anyone in the community who needs some extra food to feed family and friends.
Their goal for this year: 3,300 Thanksgiving meals.
Dedicated volunteers and staff have been hard at work this week cooking nearly 200 turkeys.
“It will take all of us to ensure that we are able to provide a healthy, wholesome, upscale meal that also satisfies the palate,” said Lewis Dawson, who serves as Food Services Supervisor at Hope Ministries.
Hope Ministries is privately funded, and relies on cash and food donations from the community to help others. But this year, a new challenge has emerged.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of people who are hurting and going hungry,” Dawson said. “We have people living paycheck to paycheck, and they have to come here and eat in order to supplement their food income.”
While demand for food continued to grow, donations declined. Adding to the problem, food costs have also risen, according to Cody.
The group already has the capacity for home delivery, but expects some people to come to the location for a meal. Hope Ministries is asking the public to open their pantries and help provide essential items.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, food donations can be dropped off at 1310 6th Ave in Des Moines.
The most needed items are as follows:
- Ready to serve dinner rolls
- Minced meat (beef, pork, bacon, ham
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, eggs, butter)
- Cans of green beans and mixed vegetables
- Condiments and salad dressing
All kitchen staff agree that food insecurity in Des Moines is at an all-time high. But thanks to the help and heart of community members, those experiencing food insecurity will be able to enjoy a warm Thanksgiving meal.