Lincoln organizations provide meal kits for upcoming holiday meals

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The holiday season brings families together to celebrate, but for many, getting a meal on the table is a hardship.

For the third year in a row, a community outreach program eased that burden by gathering donations for holiday meal kits.

Donations of turkeys, pies and winter clothing were gathered around Lincoln from Oct. 3 to Nov. 19.

On Sunday, these donations were bagged together through a partnership between Visionary Youth and the Malone Center.

They were handed out at the Saint Paul United Methodist Church in downtown Lincoln.

The event lasted three hours as guests lined up around the block to get in on this opportunity.

“We want to give back to the families that deserve a good meal,” said Malone Center Director John Goodwin. “Not just a good meal, but anything that they may need.”

Jaqueline Robinson was one of the many people who stopped by to grab a meal kit.

Within less than a half hour, Robinson was in and out of the church with meal in hand.

“Every year I make sure to come to at least one of these because it saves people money,” she said.

Robinson said she loved seeing the children light up as they were given new coats and hats.

“If you don’t have it, this is the place to come,” she said.

Mina Maxwell, a Fremont resident, heard about the event from a local education center.

For Maxwell, the news was a godsend. She is due to give birth next week near Thanksgiving.

“I wanted to make sure that my kids had a Thanksgiving dinner while I’m delivering their little sister,” she said.

Maxwell said the quick line made the process easier to get through.  The volunteers were going the extra mile to walk the kits out to visitors’ cars.

“People like me really have a hard time asking for help,” she said. “We feel like there are less fortunate people out there that need it more than us.”

She said that no matter the visitors’ story, everyone has their struggles and it’s pointless to compare when there is enough for everyone.

KB Mensah, Visionary Youth’s founder, said that hard times are what inspired this event.

“There are so many people that just need a little extra help,” he said.

Visionary Youth is no stranger to helping out the community. Earlier this year, it held a haircut and backpack event that served over 1,000 members of the surrounding community.

On Sunday, it continued its mission of giving by spreading the word about its December toy drive, allowing pre-signups for families that picked up a meal kit.

“You see a lot of families that are just down on their luck, through losing their jobs or other hard time,” Mensah said. “Those hard times are when our community gets rallied up, ready to go and help our families.”

Both Mensah and Goodwin agreed that they may not know who the people in line are, but they are family at the end of the day.

To get involved with the Malone Center, visit the center’s website or call 402-474-1110

To get involved with Visionary Youth, visit the website or call 402-318-4340



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