BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) — The holiday season is all about feasting. However, a shocking number of people right here in our local community are struggling to figure out where their next meal will come from.
A family celebration can cost money, and this Thanksgiving, a local community wants everyone to enjoy a hot meal without the high cost.
“Part of the reason is that everyone is struggling right now with anything and everything, inflation and prices of everything, which is very much involved,” Richard Hathorn said.
The Green Hills Community Center is hosting a free community meal, with plans to serve hundreds on Thanksgiving Day.
“Free Thanksgiving dinner for the community here at Fountain and everyone is welcome, it’s a free dinner with all the trimmings,” Hathorn said.
Reports from the group “Feeding America” show that Bay County has a food insecurity rate of 15%. This means that there are approximately 27,300 people who do not know where their next meal will come from. this is almost 38% more than the national average.
That’s where the community support and caring neighbors are. can make the difference.
“Me and my roommate talked about it, and I was like we were going to have dinner,” Hathorn said.
This is the sixth year the group has hosted the hot meal, usually the weekend before Thanksgiving. but this year it’s different.
“This is the first year we’ve decided to do it on Thanksgiving Day because other people ask us if there are other people who don’t have family to do things with,” said Hathorn.
Friends are like family in this close-knit community, where they’ll be ready to serve anyone, in the true spirit of Thanksgiving.
“If you’re hungry, show up isn’t going to turn anyone away,” Hathorn said.
After your free meal, you can also buy a take-out plate for five dollars. This $5 will go to the community center so they can continue to provide other meals to those in need.
Many look forward to Thanksgiving, and all the precious memories to share this season.
However, with the rising cost of food and other essentials, some families will not be able to live up to this simple tradition of a holiday meal.
That’s why many restaurants and businesses begging around are looking to help.
Below are local places in the area where you can find fresh food for those in need:
AJ’s on the Bayou at Fort Walton Beach: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
AJ’s Grayton Beach: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Port Docks in Destin: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Panama City Rescue Mission: 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Green Hills Community Center in Fountain: from 2 p.m.
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