Nonprofit packs Thanksgiving dinners for hungry kids in Wilmington

Nonprofit packs Thanksgiving dinners for hungry kids in Wilmington
Published: Nov. 15, 2017 at 10:50 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2017 at 5:51 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A take-and-bake Thanksgiving is what Nourish NC, a nonprofit in Wilmington, calls Thanksgiving dinners it sponsors for hungry kids in New Hanover County.

Nourish NC sponsored the Pay to Pack fundraiser on Sunday. Forty people from the community paid $25 each to pack Thanksgiving meals for kids in the area and their families. That $25 goes to buying the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes and other food in the dinner.

This is the program's second year putting together the dinners, and Executive Director Steve McCrossan said the plan is to feed 900 kids who were recommended by social workers for the program.

"We started talking about what a social thing food is, and how important it is to bring families and people together around the table," McCrossan said. "We wanted kids who are in our program when they went to school Monday morning after Thanksgiving to be able to say that they had dinner with their family, and the dignity of having that dinner inside their own home. So from that was born what we call a new tradition and that was Thanksgiving dinner for every child in our program."

McCrossan said growing up in a home where he didn't always know where his next meal was coming from makes him want to give kids here a Thanksgiving meal at their own kitchen tables.

"I grew up in a food insecure home, so I know a lot about what our families feel like, and again, I keep going back to that, but the ability to have dinner with your family and have it in the dignity of your own home is a thing that we really want to focus on for our kids," McCrossan said. "I'm blessed that my family is coming and they're actually going to help us pack some of this stuff up. It's nice to bring that thing full circle and be on the other side and helping other families that are struggling with food insecurity."

One volunteer said it's about more than the food.

"Sitting down  as a family as busy as our kids are and as busy as society is, it's important not only because it's so important not only to have that food, but also to but also to have that conversation and that communication between you and your loved ones is very important socially and emotionally for kids and families," Amy Richardson said.

If you didn't get a chance to pack meals on Sunday Sunday, McCrossan said the community's help is needed to serve food to 500 families on Thanksgiving Day.

Visit to sponsor a Thanksgiving dinner for $25.

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