Thanksgiving dinner giveaway provides 4,000 pounds of food

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- With Thanksgiving just a few days away, area organizations are coming together to help feed countless numbers of people who may otherwise go without food on the holiday.

Milwaukee Health Services, the 34 Ways to Assist Foundation and Molina Healthcare hosted a Thanksgiving dinner giveaway on Saturday, November 23rd at the MLK Heritage Health Center.

"We have food, vegetables, dairy products and other meat besides just turkey," said Melissa Jones with Moline Healthcare. "Just helping the community any time it needs service."

Pamela Clark of Milwaukee Health Services says community need has grown and the third annual food giveaway was open to the public.

"Last year we saw over 350, so we're expecting over 500 to 600 people this year," said Clark.

Nutrition was not the only goal of the day -- health was also at the forefront of the event.

"We're having a flu shot clinic. We're also offering pap smears and mammograms to women today for screenings," said Jones. "Right now we're seeing it's a large need for medical services in healthcare, as well as access to food, with a lot of the cut funding for food pantries."

Those receiving food and services say they're thankful for the generosity of others.

"It's helpful for a lot of people, especially in today's economy. I live on disability so this helps me," said Gloria Quinn.

"I didn't have a turkey, didn't have the food I needed so this is a blessing. I have it now," said Mary Lillman.

Molina Healthcare, Wal-Mart and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin provided over 4,000 pounds of free food for the giveaway. Molina will be giving away another 350 bags of Thanksgiving side Wednesday, November 27th from noon to 3 p.m. at Lena's Food Market on Burleigh Ave.