Kenyoda Pullen usually donated to charities and volunteered at her church’s food giveaway on Thanksgiving. Last year, the College Park woman was on the receiving end.

Pullen and her husband lost their jobs and struggled to support their family using unemployment benefits and shrinking savings. A friend and fellow choir member at Cascade United Methodist Church suggested the Pullens be added to the list to receive a free turkey and other groceries.

“I was like, ‘Wow, I had become a recipient,’ ” said Kenyoda Pullen, who is still unemployed but working on a degree in early childhood education. “When I used to see Hosea Feed the Hungry, I would say, ‘Are there that many people who are hungry? Don’t these people have families?’ Now, I’m in that same category.”

While the Thanksgiving holiday is a time for people to share a meal and give thanks, more families for the first time have found themselves in need of help. And nonprofit organizations, with fewer resources available yet more mouths to feed, have worked hard to keep pace.

Continue Reading on