Omaha organizations step up to help locals with food for Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 3:08 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A pandemic-sized effort is underway this week to help those in need put food on the table this Thanksgiving.

People lined up for more than eight blocks waiting to pick food at the Heart Ministry Center.

When asked if he expected the long line, Glynn Caplite said, “Sort of. Everyone’s in need right now. It’s hard to think of all the people that don’t have jobs to go to.”

“If you don’t get here right when it starts, you’re having a long wait,” said Catherine Anderson. Asked if it was worth the wait, she replied, “Yeah, when you need it in the house, you need it.”

A need spread throughout the city as cars line-up at the Urban League of Nebraska to pick up a Thanksgiving meal.

At the Together, Inc. food pantry the long lineups have become par for the course amid the pandemic, reaching all-time highs this past month -- so much so that they’ve been working with the city to reroute the traffic starting next week.

“The traffic is getting so bad that it’s now causing public safety issues, so we’re going to have to make some changes,” said Mike Hornacek, president and CEO of Together, Inc.

And concern about what’s come when CARES Act funds dry out.

“A lot of the stimulus money ends at the end of the year, a lot of the boosted safety net programs for SNAP, unemployment benefits -- those end at the end of the year, some of the eviction moratoriums end at the end of the year,” Hornacek said.

Meaning these lineups could get a lot longer.

“More than likely the next three months will probably be the worst that we’ve ever seen,” he added.

In the meantime, a moment to give thanks.

“It’s greatly appreciated at our house. Side dishes will be decided this afternoon,” Capalite said with a laugh.

Starting Dec. 1, Together, Inc. will be rerouting its pantry lineup. Click to view the map here.

Starting Dec. 1, Together, Inc. will be rerouting its pantry lineup.
Starting Dec. 1, Together, Inc. will be rerouting its pantry lineup.(Together, Inc.)

They want everyone to know the distribution location will stay the same but how you get there will change.

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