Charities looking to provide Thanksgiving meals

Second Harvest, Salvation Army, Clara White Mission seeking donations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's the season for giving, and because Thanksgiving comes early this month, charities really need the help of locals.

Tuesday marked the 28th annual Empty Bowls Luncheon for the Second Harvest Food Bank, just one organization looking to feed people this holiday season.

Empty Bowls is a way Second Harvest helps "end hunger one bowl at a time."

One in six people in north Florida are food insecure, and that number is even worse for children -- one in four.

"We're still in an economy that's not recovered yet and there's still people really hurting, people who have a low-paying job or lost one of the jobs in the household or the hours have been cut," said Wayne Rieley, of Lutheran Social Services.

People at the event Tuesday chose a bowl decorated by children. For every dollar donated, Second Harvest can supply seven meals. There are 450 agencies that receive food from the food bank.

One of those agencies is the Salvation Army. Its freezers are empty and looking for donations. It needs turkeys to feed more than 900 families, and it's hoping to get all the turkeys by Saturday because they'll be handed out to local families on Tuesday.

Another organization needing turkeys is the Clara White Mission.

Its soup kitchen service provides hot meals to the general homeless population seven days a week. It also has a holiday-themed feeding on Nov. 18. The Clara White Mission needs turkey, ham, canned and dry goods.

"It's important that we have that support from the community so we can continue what we do," said Nichole Torres, of the Clara White Mission.

For more information on how to donate to these charities, go to the Salvation Army's website, Second Harvest's website or the Clara White Mission's website.

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