Anonymous Donations Help Fuel 22nd Annual Bread of Life Food Giveaway

By: Jason Tarr Email
By: Jason Tarr Email

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It's such a tradition that many of us take our Thanksgiving meal for granted. But for many others, such as Wichita's Vern Wabster, it's another meal they don't know how they'll put on the table.

"Being a veteran, being disabled, and being a senior, if it weren't for the (food) pantries, I wouldn't be able to do anything," Wabster said.

Each year, he especially looks forward to the Bread of Life ministry's Thanksgiving food giveaway in Wichita.

"They help me fill up the kitchen so I can eat right," Wabster said.

The food giveaway took place in Wichita Saturday. It's now in its 22nd year.

"It's a God send and it really helps out because if I have to spend the money out of my pocket (for food), I wouldn't be able to do other things like get my medicine," Wabster said.

An army of volunteers helped fill shopping carts with traditional Thanksgiving groceries for each of the estimated 1,500 families, about 5,000 people total, who lined up Saturday.

"They are helping people, I love that," said Clarence D. Smith, who was picking up food.

Organizers say the majority of the people in the long lines represented people at, or below, the poverty line. They say many also represent the working poor.

"Every year, we never know how we are going to do this. We just know we have been directed by the Lord to do it," Bread of Life Director Donna Pinaire said.

In terms of this year's efforts, Pinaire says they received a big boost in the form of two anonymous donations totaling $12,000. Those donations allowed them to send every family that showed up Saturday home with a turkey.

"Everyone wants a turkey for Thanksgiving, everyone wants a traditional meal," Pinaire said. "We are able to do that for them, so it's really wonderful."

For that traditional meal, people had the opportunity to pick up rolls, potatoes, pumpkins, and soda.

Those receiving the food say the volunteers provided them with all the ingredients necessary for a much brighter holiday.

"I always say thank you to them," Wabster said. "They are great people."

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