Triangle homeless shelters, non-profits adjusting how families are served during Thanksgiving

Local News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Homeless shelters and non-profits across the Triangle will adjust the way they serve and feed families this Thanksgiving.

Because of COVID-19 gathering restrictions, the Durham Rescue Mission can’t hold its traditional sit down dinner, which typically draws hundreds of families in need.

“We’re not even allowed to allow walk-ups to get a to-go meal. But truthfully, if somebody comes up here on Thanksgiving Day and says they’re hungry, we’re gonna feed them,” said Rob Tart, COO at the Durham Rescue Mission.

Tart told CBS 17 his team is calling around to low-income housing to find families who may be in need of a Thanksgiving meal.

“And [we’re] working with management and people contacted through them and getting that information back to us so we know how many meals to take to these apartment competes and places like that,” he said.

Every year, the Helping Hand Mission in Raleigh prepares Thanksgiving dinner boxes for families to take home and make themselves.

“They [families] expect this and they come in droves, a lot of people,” said Sylvia Wiggins, founder of Helping Hand Mission.

But this year, the focus is more about safety than socializing. Wiggins is planning to give out around 800 dinner boxes that each serve up to 10 people. The distribution process will be similar to a drive-thru. Families will grab their dinner boxes and have to leave.

“Safety first, that’s the main goal,” said Wiggins. “We just need it done properly this time. We don’t want nobody to have a bad experience and nobody getting sick.”

Wiggins said donations are still needed to fill 800 dinner boxes. You can drop off donations at the Helping Hand Mission located at 623 Rock Quarry Road. Families who need a Thanksgiving meal can stop by and pick one up starting Wednesday at noon. Masks and social distancing are required.

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