WICHITA — Hundreds of people waited hours in the cold outside the Bread of Life food pantry this morning in hopes of securing the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner.
"I hate to be here. It makes me cry," said Martha Johnson, 42, who recently lost her job at a Wichita fast food restaurant.
"But right now it's hard to find work, and I'm just hoping for a turkey and things for Thanksgiving dinner for my family."
Bread of Life director Donna Pinaire said this morning's crowd, which began lining up before 3 a.m. outside the food pantry on South Hillside, seemed at least as big as last year's. An estimated 6,000 people, or about 2,500 families, received food during the giveaway last year.
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Families this morning got turkeys, stuffing mix, potatoes, canned vegetables and other traditional Thanksgiving fare.
Johnson smiled and said, "God bless you" as volunteers loaded potatoes and a caramel apple pie into her box. She said she'll make Thanksgiving dinner for her husband, who has cancer, and a 21-year-old son who also lost his job.
"This is so very kind," she said. "There's a lot of people out there who need help, so it's great this is here."
The giveaway continues through 3 p.m. today — or until food runs out — at the Bread of Life, 2825 S. Hillside.
For more on this story, read Wednesday's Eagle.