Safe Children Coalition Provides Thanksgiving Meals for Families in Need

The Giving Coast

On Saturday, Safe Children Coalition provided nearly 800 full Thanksgiving meals to families in need through a drive-thru event at its main office in north Sarasota. Eligible recipient families who were required to pre-register for the event are those currently being served through Safe Children Coalition programs such as the Achievers, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY), Schoolhouse Link, and the Youth Shelter as well as other partnering agencies that serve low-income families. This is the 20th year that volunteers have distributed Thanksgiving meals to those in need, thanks to generous community donations – a tradition that began as a community service project for the teen participants in the Achievers program to give back to the community. Families received a turkey large enough for a family of eight, vegetables, sides and pie. The meals were provided by Publix, which offers the food at a discounted cost in support of the effort.

Over the past 20 years, approximately 4,700 Thanksgiving meals have been provided to families in need. Special thank-yous are in order for Sarasota lawyer and longtime turkey drive sponsor Dan Dannheisser for – as he has for 20 years now – spearheading the fundraising campaign and personally funding numerous meals, and to the Safe Children Coalition Achievers and Youth Shelter students, who helped coordinate the effort and distributed the food. Safe Children Coalition is also grateful to Construction Supply of Southwest Florida for providing trucks and staff to transport the turkey dinners to the distribution site. According to FeedingAmerica.org, more than 42 million people may experience food insecurity this year, including a potential 13 million children. The pandemic has only worsened the hunger crisis for families who were already at risk. Distributing Thanksgiving meals is just one of the ways Safe Children Coalition provides crucial support for families in need.

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