Volunters Deja Walker, left, and Victoria Turnbough assemble take-home bags for attendees during a holiday dinner for the homeless last week.
Corrected version: These meals, which incorrectly were listed on Friday, are being held on Thursday: Cherry Street Mission, breakfast, 8 to 9 a.m. Dinner off-site at Real Seafood; Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission on Jefferson Avenue, breakfast 7:30 to 9 a.m. Dinner at 5 p.m.; and Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission Outreach Center on Phillips Ave., dinner 4 to 6 p.m.
Thousands of free meals will be served to area needy this week in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Dan Rogers, Cherry Street Mission Ministries president and chief executive officer, said his organization alone expects to provide more than 7,000 meals — about 1,000 more than it did in 2012.
More people are volunteering, a sign of the Toledo area’s empathy for the poor.
But a gradual improvement in the economy “hasn’t shown itself in food security” yet, Mr. Rogers said. “There are indicators the economy is improving. But there are people in the poverty pipeline who have not seen results,” he said.
While the greatest focus continues to be in the central city, the need continues in rural and outlying areas.
“I think there are people in the rural areas and the suburbs who are grotesquely underserved,” Mr. Rogers said. “There almost seems no end to it.”
Cherry Street’s volunteer corps plan to deliver cold boxes of Thanksgiving food to 700 homes on Tuesday, about 200 more than last year.
Each will have enough food for four to 12 meals, Mr. Rogers said.
On Thursday, Cherry Street plans to work with Real Seafood to deliver 600 hot Thanksgiving meals to households, many unable to do their own cooking.
Real Seafood also plans to serve 500 meals to Cherry Street guests on Friday at its restaurant. The mission is planning holiday festivities throughout the weekend at its Madison food center with special events, food, and opportunities to watch football.
“Many of the callers are indicating the need is based on the cut in food stamps,” Mr. Rogers said.
For a list of foods the mission needs for its Thanksgiving program go to cherrystreetmission.org/news/upcoming-events/thanksgiving/
Last-minute items are needed for other churches, charities, and groups offering meals.
Among them is Helping Hands of St. Louis, which expects to feed more than 500 people and distribute more than 200 Christmas food baskets.
Extra donations will be given in advance to St. Francis de Sales and Assumption Outreach Centers for their holiday food distributions. Helping Hands said it needs boneless hams, eggs, margarine, potatoes, apples, oranges, and cake mix for its Christmas food baskets.
● Helping Hands of St. Louis, 443 Sixth St., 419-691-0613. Thanksgiving lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; dinner from 5 to 7 p.m.
● MLK Center/Kitchen for the Poor, 650 Vance St., 419-241-2596. Lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m.
● St. Paul's Community Center, 230 13th St., 419-255-5520. Lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m.
● United Community Church, 1301 Broadway. Dinner, noon to 2 p.m.
● Christ the King Church, 4100 Harvest Lane, 419-475-4348. Dinner, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
● St. Joan of Arc Church, 5856 Heatherdowns Blvd., 419-866-6181. Dinner, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
● Augsburg Lutheran Church, 1342 W. Sylvania Ave., 419-704-3114. Pre-arranged delivery or pick-up only. Meals delivered after 11 a.m.
● Pilgrim Church, 1375 Sylvania Ave., 419-478-6012. Dinner, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
● Cherry Street Mission, 1919 Madison Ave., 419-242-5141. Breakfast, 8 to 9 a.m. Dinner off-site at Real Seafood.
● Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission, 1917 Jefferson Ave., 419-241-6579. Breakfast 7:30 to 9 a.m. Dinner at 5 p.m.
● Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission Outreach Center, 670 Phillips Ave., 419-478-1005. Dinner, 4 to 6 p.m.
● Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission, 1917 Jefferson. Dinner, starting with Chapel at 5 p.m.
● Cherry Street Mission, 1919 Madison Ave. Lunch, noon to 1 p.m.
Some churches, charities, and groups, such as Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, had their events last week.