Nonprofits gear up to help those in need this Thanksgiving

Published: November 24, 2021 3:52 PM EST
Updated: November 24, 2021 5:10 PM EST

With Thanksgiving just hours away at this point, Southwest Florida nonprofits are gearing up to help those in need in our community. With more families expected to need food this holiday season, the Midwest Food Bank constantly takes donations.

And despite supply shortages this holiday season, the food bank is doing everything it can to ensure everyone has a warm meal this Thanksgiving.

Kelly Apfel is the marketing and development manager for Midwest Food Bank of Florida. “We really wanted to make sure families were fed the season for Thanksgiving,” Apfel said.

The goal of Midwest Food Bank this week, and every week of the year, is to help the one in six families that don’t know where their next meal will come from not to worry. The food bank supports 194 nonprofits in 39 counties with only six full-time employees. Luckily, they have tons of volunteers.

“We like to take those challenges to our mission and really step up,” said Apfel. In addition to the rising number of families in need of food, Midwest Food Bank is dealing with supply chain issues and increases in the price of food.

“This year, just, for example, the turkeys. Turkey prices went through the roof, so…” said Apfel. “We went with turkey breasts and ham.”

Karl Steidinger is the executive director of Midwest Food Bank of Florida. “We do this because there’s something intrinsically valuable about being able to go to bed at night and know that thousands and thousands of people are blessed because of the effort that you put forth or the steam put forth each and every day,” said Steidinger.

“Our hope is to get them through whatever difficulty they’re facing and get them back on their feet. That they can then turn around and be a blessing to someone else,” Steidinger said.

In 2020, Midwest distributed and donated more than $52 million worth of food. That food fed almost two and a half million people. If you would like to donate to Midwest Food Bank of Florida, you can follow this link.