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    Posted November 25, 2011 by
    The Bronx, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    It's not Thanksgiving without...

    More from KariJensen

    Real Life Thanksgiving Must Dos


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     KariJensen shot this video on Thanksgiving of volunteers at a food bank in New York City. 'From past experience, I’ve found that people who may be homeless, unemployed, marginally employed, financially strapped, or undergoing any hardship oftentimes are reticent to talk about it – especially on camera or to a reporter,' she said. 'Some of the people I talked with said they came for the meals, toiletries and clothes. They could use the help.'
    - jmsaba, CNN iReport producer

    Thanksgiving conjures up images of must haves, such as turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. But many people also associate the holiday with must dos, such as helping others, especially those affected by tough economic times.


    About 180 volunteers spent their afternoon Thursday serving free meals and distributing free toiletries and clothing to more than 600 people at The Point in The Bronx.


    Kellie Terry-Sepulveda is executive director at The Point Community Development Corporation.


    “I think this season I’ve seen more people be in need. And we do get a lot of young folks that don’t have a lot of support.”


    Terry-Sepulveda says this is the second year the Hunts Point-based nonprofit center teamed with Real Life Church on Thanksgiving.


    The Bowery Mission in New York provided them with 750 meals. Staff from Bascom catering, a start-up in The Point’s small business incubator program, coordinated food service at their on-site kitchen.


    The Food Bank for New York City estimates the highest percentage of people at-risk for hunger live in The Bronx and Brooklyn, which are boroughs with the highest poverty rates.


    Pastor Reggie Stutzman organized the event, including volunteers, who came from as far away as Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee.


    “It’s all about working together. It’s about partnerships. It’s about the church being part of the community.”


    Volunteer Ashley Tacora performed during event. She says it is not Thanksgiving without singing before prayers and dinner, like she used to do for her grandmother.


    “Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks because he’s given, Jesus Christ, his son. Give thanks …”

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