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    Posted November 19, 2012 by
    Washington, District of Columbia

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    3,500 Thanksgiving Meals to be Delivered by Food & Friends


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     foodnfriends says its annual Thanksgiving event draws more than 1,000 volunteers across the Washington D.C. area who help prepare and deliver meals to people with debilitating diseases like HIV/AIDS and cancer. "We'll be delivering about 9,800 pounds of turkey,"foodnfriends says. "And most of that will be done on Thanksgiving Day."
    - ericfrazier, HLN Associate Producer

    For millions of people throughout the country, Thanksgiving is a time for generous servings of stuffing, second helpings of mashed potatoes and a thick slice of pumpkin pie.


    But for thousands of people in the DC Metro region, Thanksgiving is about more than a big meal. It’s about living to see another holiday and taking a short break from the daily struggle of living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other debilitating diseases.


    This Thanksgiving, Food & Friends’ staff and hundreds of volunteers will prepare and deliver 3,500 complete holiday dinners to sick adults and children in the DC region. Each Thanksgiving delivery is designed to feed at least four people, giving clients a chance to host their loved ones. As part of the 3,500 meals, Food & Friends will also deliver turkeys and sides to 60 children and their families served by Health Services for Children with Special Needs Inc. (HSCSN). HSCSN provides innovative care to the pediatric Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and SSI-eligible populations of Washington, DC through a management network that coordinates health, social and education services for children and young adults living with disabilities and chronic illness.


    “Our clients, as well as the children and young adults served by HSCSN, have chronic and complex medical issues which make it very difficult for them and their caretakers to cook regular meals, never mind a full Thanksgiving dinner,” says Craig Shniderman, Executive Director of Food & Friends. “These children and families must deal with serious issues every day, but we can make Thanksgiving a much better holiday. Setting some extra places at the table is our Thanksgiving tradition.”


    Food & Friends depends on the support of the entire community to make Thanksgiving a reality for its clients and this year, Food & Friends is proud to recognize Walmart as the Presenting Sponsor of Thanksgiving festivities. Additional support is provided by Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, Macy’s Foundation, General Motors, Honest Tea and Zipcar.


    “The reality is that even during the holidays, some of our neighbors are unable to celebrate in the most basic and necessary way – with a warm meal for their families,” said Alex Barron, Regional Manager at Walmart. “We at Walmart know that every parent, child and family deserves a nutritious meal and this Thanksgiving, we are proud to be part of Food & Friends’ long lasting commitment to deliver meals to local community members living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other diseases.”


    Food & Friends begins preparing well in advance of Thanksgiving Day. Throughout the entire month of November thousands of pounds of food are purchased and prepped for the holiday. With the help of volunteers, more than 9,800 pounds of turkey, 1,050 pounds of roasted potatoes and 780 pounds of green beans will be prepared.


    Throughout the week and on Thanksgiving Day, Food & Friends will welcome special guests like DC Mayor Gray, MD Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Washington Nationals staff and one of the principal owners and Dream Foundation Chair Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, DC United and other public officals.

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