Normal West Food banks and shelters open for donations and meals for the Thanksgiving season


Many families look forward to gathering around a table together eating and sharing what they’re thankful for.

Aleena Barlow, Staff Reporter

The Thanksgiving season is only days away, with several families looking forward to spending time with loved ones and enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner. However, for many families in the Bloomington-Normal area, the ability to have a Thanksgiving dinner is shadowed by worries of access to food.

According to Midwest Food Bank’s website, over 50 million Americans live in households with a lack of access to food, with 16 million of those being under the age of 18. And this lack of access lasts all year long, with the seemingly traditional fattening Thanksgiving dinners out of reach for several of these families. But luckily, several food banks and shelters in the Bloomington-Normal area are doing their parts and contributing to helping those affected by lack of access to food have a meal, at least for Thanksgiving.

If you or someone you know is in need of a meal on Thanksgiving due to a lack of ability to get one, a food pantry and one of the homeless shelters will be providing food. Home Sweet Home Ministries is a homeless shelter located on 303 East Oakland Avenue in Bloomington that on November 28th, from 9 am to 1 pm will be serving a hot meal. 

Alongside Home Sweet Home Ministries, the Center for Hope Outreach Program will be distributing baskets of holiday foods until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Their offices will be closed on Thanksgiving but those interested can grab one of the available 10,000 baskets with photo ID to the Midwest Food Bank located on 2310 Warehouse Road. 

Speaking of the Midwest Food Bank, they are also accepting donations in the form of frozen turkeys until Thanksgiving for their 2,500 meal boxes-which include ingredients to make stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie for those who need it.

 Finally, the Jaycees, a local non profit, will be providing everything needed to make turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, and pumpkin pie, which includes any pans needed for cooking. Those interested can contact them via their P.O. box located at 42 Bloomington IL 61701 or by their number at (309) 319-6107.