Cleveland Foodbank expects to serve record number of people this holiday season

Charter One donates 7,000 frozen turkeys

CLEVELAND, Ohio - As a cold rain rain fell, Natalie Dancy stood at the end of a long line of people waiting to enter the Garden Valley Food Pantry. A volunteer shouted out instructions for picking up food.

Dancy lamented with a sigh, "And here I am."

What happened to Natalie feels like a stunning twist of fate, yet she's not alone these days.

Just last month Natalie brought a woman she cared for as a home health aid to the food pantry.

Two weeks ago Natalie lost her job.

"It kind of hurts. All I'm looking for is a job to keep going to help my children and grandchildren," Natalie said.

Garden Valley is just one of many food pantries supplied by the Cleveland Foodbank, which expects help a record number of people this holiday season.

Federal cuts to food stamps is one reason, and a growing number of people who lost full time jobs are trying to find a job or working part time jobs now need help from the food bank.

"One in six people are area of Northeast Ohio is 'food insecure,' meaning they don't now where their next meal is coming from, and the holidays are particularly challenging,"  said Kristin Warzocha, Vice President of External fairs for the Cleveland Foodbank.

Thursday volunteers from Charter One Bank donated and delivered 7,000 frozen turkeys.

That's enough turkey to make more than a hundred thousand holiday meals starting now and going through the end of the season.

"My mother taught me that no matter what, if you fall down, always get back up and always make it," Natalie said.

A $1 donation to the Cleveland Foodbank helps to make four meals. 

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