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.
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.