Lincoln Catholics distribute Thanksgiving meals to families facing food insecurity
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Over 150 families were given turkeys, hams, stuffing, mashed potatoes and other Thanksgiving supplies on Friday morning.
The Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska and the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln handed out the bags of food in an effort to reduce food insecurity in Nebraska.
Bishop James Conley of the Catholic Diocese of Lincoln said the bags were put together by the St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Lincoln to provide families the ability to have a big Thanksgiving dinner.
“We all know this is a really difficult time economically, with inflation and everything,” Conley said. “So, we and Catholic social services, we really want to reach out to those people in need.”
He said students from the Catholic school at St. John decorated the bags with artwork to help make it festive.
With food insecurity being such a big problem for some in Nebraska, Conley said sometimes people have to choose between paying their utilities and buying groceries.
“We’re all in the same boat,” he said. “The squeeze comes as the weather gets colder and colder. So sometimes it’s food, some say they have to cut out meals which we don’t want that to happen.”
Katie Patrick, executive director of Catholic Social Services, said they do this event every year to ensure everyone gets to have a holiday meal.
“We know there are a number of different places across the city where families can access low-cost or free food, but often, that food does not have the proper nutrition,” she said. “At the CSS food market, we really try to keep it stocked with food that helps them have a well-balanced diet.”
Patrick said the important part of all this is creating encounters where people can learn about the issues facing the Lincoln community and helping to serve those that are vulnerable.
Doris Schueth, the food market program manager, said they see new faces every day and they want to make everyone feel welcome.
“Yes, we provide the food, but we’re also giving them the dignity,” she said. “So, we’re raising the bar, giving them the dignity of being able to shop for themselves and have someone to talk to and share recipes with. It’s just a joy to see that excitement and the appreciation for people getting the food that is lacking in their pantries.”
To donate or volunteer with Catholic Social Services during the holiday season, or if you are in need of donations, you can find more information on their website.
They will be having another holiday food giveaway for Christmas on Dec. 16th.
Sign-up for that event begins on Monday, Nov. 28, and Catholic Social Services says it’s best if people come in to sign up at 2241 O Street in Lincoln.