It's all hands on deck inside this kitchen, as volunteers with Loaves and Fishes prepare food. "We've been here since 7 this morning with rolling volunteers," says Executive Director, Cathy Maes.
Maes is the executive director of the organization – delivering food to those in need at several locations throughout North and South Minneapolis.
But this year, due to COVID-19, they're offering take-out to anyone in need. "You can drive up, walk up, and bike up, and take it to wherever you are living," says Maes.
"Right now we are doing our Thanksgiving outreach," says Joshua Windham, with Union Gospel Mission.
On the other side of the Twin Cities, Windham says around 60 to 70 volunteers are preparing food to hand deliver to seniors living at 19 high rises across St. Paul. "We get a lot of monetary donations throughout the year," says Windham. "I think now more than ever people are in need, and it's hard for people to get groceries."
Volunteers are lining up ready to help those who may be isolated this holiday season due to COVID-19. "They're so grateful," says Patty Harrington, a volunteer. "They want to talk and they want to be with people, and this is harder this year," she says. "Right now with COVID-19 and what's happening in our community, it's still being able to get out to people who need it the most," says Windham.
Maes says last year, Loaves and Fishes served 1.3 million meals. This year she says they've served 3.5 to 4 million, 3 to 4 times more.
While volunteers say they're grateful to lend a helping hand, they're encouraging others to give back. "It's simple, it's an easy process and it's a chance to give back to the community," says Brian Harrington. "It's good for your heart."
To learn more about Loaves and Fishes, visit their website here.
To learn more about Union Gospel Mission, visit their website here.