As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, putting food on the table is a struggle for many families, especially with the holiday season.
The Second Harvest Food Bank was giving out free turkey meals to families in need on Friday, as well as groceries to last them the rest of the week.
They are very busy this year, and one local food pantry is feeling the pressure and demand of the pandemic.
Marni Alward picked up a turkey meal for her family at the Second Harvest Food Bank. She says her family is having terrible financial problems after a series of deaths. Their family business also closed its doors.
“In our family this year, there is going to be no gifts. It’s just my dad and I now. It’s just a real tragic time and sad time of the year. They are here to boost us up.” Alward said.
200 turkeys were donated by Pittsburgh Steelers star running back and Erie native James Conner.
Executives with the Second Harvest Food Bank say they are especially busy right now.
“We have done a distribution every day this week except for Tuesday. That is a little different for us. It’s kind of like a Black Friday every day here.” said Karen Seggi.
Mark Emhoff is currently homeless. He was getting a free meal at the Community of Caring on E. 8th Street.
“I had a house and everything like that and now I am a little bit down and it’s a little harder to get back up once you are down, than you realize.” Emhoff said.
The Community of Caring offers food and shelter to those in need, as well as a food pantry.
“The demand at the food pantry has definitely gone up. A lot more people need food nowadays.” said Grace Kennedy, Executive Director of Community of Caring.
For a list of all of the area food pantries during this time, you can click here.