St. Matthew’s House gives away 1,300 turkey dinners to SWFL families in need

Published: November 18, 2021 2:41 PM EST
Updated: November 18, 2021 5:52 PM EST

More than 1,000 families received a turkey dinner at the St. Matthew’s House “Hope for the Holidays” turkey distribution in Naples on Thursday.

Lisa Holliday never thought she would end up at a food drive.

“We’re normally the people that give food away to help people,” Holliday said. “Now this year, it’s been really tough.”

It’s been tough for her whole family including, her mom and dad, Carol and Randy Every.

“My husband had a stroke, I had a heart attack, and my daughter has fibromyalgia. There’s limited income for all of us,” Carol said.

The family was one of the many that received turkey dinners from St. Matthews House. Families received turkeys, side dishes and other cooking essentials.

“Without this, I think we wouldn’t have had a turkey dinner, we would have had anything that was in the pantry,” Carol said.

St. Matthews said the coronavirus crisis continues to impact families especially as food prices rise so there is a greater need this Thanksgiving, the second Thanksgiving, in the pandemic.

Sandra Corzine struggles with the rising costs of groceries.

“I live on Social Security and the money is just not enough to go around. Especially if you have medical problems,” Corzine said.

Corzine said without the help from St. Matthew’s House, “you wouldn’t be able to have a happy holiday, as you say? And makes your family very thankful.”

Ketsy Rodriguez’s husband lost his job.

“A lot of people that they lost a lot because covid. Just nice to them to help our community,” Rodriguez, of Naples, said.

Meanwhile, every member of the Every family racked up medical bills this last year.

“We’ve had to pay for everything else. Everything else is sky-high. And even the price of turkeys and everything is hard,” Carol Every said.

Carol Every is grateful for the turkey dinner and for St. Matthew’s House and its partnership with the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

“You can’t be grateful enough for all of that, that it means. It means everything to us,” Every said.

HOW TO HELP

Harry Chapin Food Bank and St. Matthew’s House accept donations year round and volunteers are always needed.

If you’d like to help by donating turkeys or cash to help feed more families as we approach the holiday you do so at stmatthewshouse.org.

You can also find more information on how to help St. Matthew’s House here.

You can also find a list of locations where St. Matthew’s House will be handing out turkeys the rest of the week by clicking here or in the photo below.