SARASOTA, Fla. - This Thanksgiving, thousands of families are being met with a very tough reality. Scotty Pierce knows the struggle firsthand.
“I’ve never had to ask for help. I’m a tradesman, but if I can’t get anywhere to do the work,” said Pierce, a resident of the Sarasota area.
The pandemic’s effects have been far-reaching. Many people are still out of work and struggling to make ends meet, meaning a big Thanksgiving feast might be out of the question this year.
“Because of the pandemic, my hours were cut at my business and just spreading the money as thin as I can spread it,” said Pierce, who was the first in line to receive a turkey Saturday.
That’s why All Faiths Food Bank has set a goal to hand out 9,000 turkeys to families in need by Thanksgiving Day.
“Today was the kick-off of our annual turkey distribution. We will be providing frozen turkeys and all the fixings necessary for a Thanksgiving meal,” said Sandra Frank, the CEO of All Faith’s Food Bank.
Saturday marked the food bank’s first turkey distribution of the holiday season. The long line of cars waiting to be helped showed just how evident the need throughout the community truly is.
“We were handing out 500 turkeys today. We had sent for more,” said Frank. “So many of our neighbors were unemployed and still are unemployed because of the pandemic.”
Just at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, one of the food bank’s many distribution sites, over 700 turkeys were handed out.
“They gave me a turkey, they gave me some side dishes, and it looks like some stuffing, along with a bouquet of roses,” said Pierce as he showed the FOX 13 crew his Thanksgiving groceries.
Humbled and grateful, Pierce says he’ll now be able to give his family the Thanksgiving they deserve.
“This helps out a lot, ensuring that we put on a good thanksgiving for my family at home,” said Pierce.
In addition to the goal of handing out 9,000 turkeys by Thanksgiving, All Faiths Food Bank plans to serve four million meals to families in need over the holiday season.
CONNECT WITH FOX 13: