While many of us are getting acclimated to the rise in costs of just about everything, there are a countless number of people who are struggling right now just to make the basic ends meet. And nothing brings to light the tough choices households have had to make this past year than the coming holiday season.

It’s reported by a new survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation that this year’s Thanksgiving dinner will cost a huge 20% more than it did in 2021.

The survey estimates the price of a 16-pound turkey is, on average, $28.96 this year, a jump of 21% over last year. Add in all the traditional trimmings, like cranberries, stuffing, rolls, and pie, the amount for a Thanksgiving meal increased $10.74 for a table of ten, up to $64.05 on average.

While $10.74 might not seem like a large jump to many, for individuals and families on a fixed income or a very tight budget, it only is added to the increased costs they face every month on just about everything: fuel, heat, electricity, other monthly food costs, daycare, clothing, and more.

Many people with the means don’t really think much about the cost of a nice family meal around this time of the year. But not everyone can provide a lavish meal for their loved ones.

Each year, Making A Difference Foundation’s Eloise’s Cooking Pot Food Bank tries to fill this need that so many local families face and give them a traditional holiday Thanksgiving meal.

On average, we give away 1,000 turkeys and meals to families in need, and another 1,000 to veterans and military members each Thanksgiving. That’s more than 2,000 local families who otherwise might go hungry for the holiday.

However, each year the number of people needing a Thanksgiving meal box only increases and many are people you may not even realize: the elderly shut-in down the street, your child’s teacher, the grocery store worker who mans the cash register, your children’s friends…

Not only is it MADF’s mission to provide food to anyone in need and not turn anyone away, we also feel it is our mission to continuing raising awareness on the plight of the low-income individuals and families who struggle not only during the holidays, but everyday to have the food they need to maintain healthy lives.

At this time, the ECP Food Bank is serving over 60,000 people PER MONTH with 1,000,000+ pounds of food.

There has always been, and continues to be, a problem with hunger in our communities. But it is being exacerbated by high inflation, higher costs of the bare necessities, and little in safety nets for those who need it.

We serve all that we can and do so through generous community donations. We encourage everyone to look out for each other; to check on your neighbors and donate as you can.

And since it is Thanksgiving, we want to thank everyone who has and continues to donate to us to solve the hunger problem here locally. We couldn’t fulfill our mission without the generosity of the community we are so grateful to be a part of.

So, thank you all!