Volunteers spend Thanksgiving Eve making sure those in need get holiday meal
Dozens of Washingtonians are spending Thanksgiving eve making sure no one goes hungry during the holidays.
Volunteers with "Bread for the City" are putting food on the table of families who typically go without.
The organization packed up more than 9,000 special grocery bags this season, filling them with all the holiday fixings.
Those on the receiving end couldn't be more grateful.
Lakisha Mooney of D.C. said, "It really means a lot to me and my kids."
Mooney is a single mom suffering from the rocky economy. Feeding 10 children this Thanksgiving would be impossible if it weren't for the annual tradition called "Holiday Helpings".
"Bread for the City" has been providing the needy with holiday meals for more than 20 years.
" It lifts your spirits just knowing that you can come in here and they will help you," Mooney said.
Employees with Georgetown Construction Company MCN Build were among the countless volunteers.
"This is the most important time," said volunteer Jared Blocher. "This is when families get together, and the last thing you want to do is have a family get together that doesn't have the amount of food that others do. "
Nineteen percent of district residents live in poverty - that's one in three children.
Kristin Valentine, the chief development officer for Bread for the City, added.
"We're seeing 20 percent more families than we did this time last year."
A sobering reminder that hunger is a year-long problem.
For those being lent a helping hand, this is the ultimate holiday gift.
"I'm going back to school, so that's good. I'll be graduating by next year...so I won't have to be here. I can be giving instead of receiving," Mooney continued.
"Holiday Helpings" runs every year from Nov. 1 through Christmas Eve.
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