Austin organizations help those in need for Thanksgiving

As the holidays approach, for many families, it may be the first Thanksgiving they will spend with loved ones since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, on top of that, many families are still working to try to make ends meet.

On Saturday, community groups were working to address food insecurity issues in Austin.

“For our community, that means helping each other no matter what we’re going through,” said Ana Maciel, chair of the AB Cantu Pan American Rec Center advisory board.

They offered 300 boxed Thanksgiving dinners as part of their annual Thanksgiving dinner. They also had live music and vaccinated those who were eligible.

Maciel says the community is the lifeline for support. “Since we are one big family in this community, we are here to serve our community in any way we can,” she said.

During the Hands For Hope event, they were to help over 1,800 families.

“It’s an amazing community coming together to help those in need,” said Rosamaria Murillo, CEO of El Buen Samaritano.

They were handing out full Thanksgiving dinners, with a turkey and all sides. They also ran a vaccination clinic. Murillo said it was not just a day to help those in need, but a day to celebrate the love and support of the community.

“Think about it, it’s been 18/19 months and we’re still standing,” she said. “And we are here to serve the community and the community has been there for us.”

She added that even after the events, they will be working to make sure everyone is taken care of.

“But after today, we will continue to be here to provide access to food and basic needs for families,” said Murillo.

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