DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Thousands of Miami Valley families are getting a jump on their holiday meal prep, thanks to the Salvation Army’s annual food distribution.
Community donations directed specifically for the holiday program, as well as some of the proceeds from the organization’s Red Kettle Campaign funded meals for more than 3,600 families in the Dayton and Xenia area.
“We have that warm meal and that togetherness and we’re able to provide it for those families that can’t provide it for themselves,” said Lt. Brittany Bender, the assistant corps officer at the Salvation Army Kroc Center.
Thursday, pre-registered families and individuals picked up grocery store gift cards and and frozen turkeys from the Kroc Center.
12-year-old Tanaisha Woodard accompanied her mother to the event and said she was looking forward to a full Christmas dinner.
“It’s very important,” Woodard said about charity during the holiday season. “Most people need it.”
Dayton resident Sigmond Dillard planned to use the gift card he received to help other friends buy groceries.
“It’s wonderful of people to share,” Dillard said. “In this time of giving, some people are really in need.”
Lt. Bender sees the need regularly at the Salvation Army, but noted it’s more evident during the holiday season when many families are struggling to make ends meet.
“We see the concern on their faces when they know they can’t provide for their families,” she said. “So this takes the weight a little bit off them, in order to let them provide other things for their families that they need.”