Charleston community steps up ahead of Thanksgiving

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Local organizations and businesses are working to provide Thanksgiving meals to people in need this season.

East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) says the need for food assistance is higher during the holidays, especially during the pandemic.

According to Feeding America, in South Carolina, 555,630 people including over 160,000 children are food insecure.

ECCO is providing 500 meals to their clients ahead of Thanksgiving.

“We have a lot of families who are reaching out for assistance. We’ve even had families who were once donors to ECCO who are now seeking assistance from ECCO because of challenges that have been going on. So, it’s really full circle here at ECCO,” said Nikki Lengyel, the Senior Manager of Client Navigation for ECCO.

The meals will include 13 side dishes including mashed potatoes, green beans, and pie along with a gift card. The organization is giving a gift card to recipients this year instead of turkeys so clients can choose what type of meat or other items they want.

The organization is donation and volunteer-based.

“The generosity and the heart that this community shows is just unspeakable. The dedication and the hours that our volunteers spend here and our donors are giving, whether it be money or gifts, whatever it may be,” said Lengyel.

Another local business stepping up this Thanksgiving is Workmen’s Cafe on James Island.

Owner Angie Bellinger, commonly called Miss Angie, says last year, she gave out around 100 plates loaded up with Thanksgiving favorites. This year, she’s ready for round two.

“I could hear the passion in their voices,” said Miss Angie, reflecting on last year’s event. “They were just saying thank you so much for doing this. You don’t know how much this means to the community.”

Miss Angie’s Thanksgiving meal giveaway is open to everybody. If you would like a free plate, you can stop by Workmen’s Cafe beginning at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

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