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Nonprofits forge on with Thanksgiving meals despite inflation

The Aliveness Project is hosting its Friendsgiving meal on Wednesday for its members, even with the higher grocery bill this year.

MINNEAPOLIS — The sign of the times is hard to ignore, even in Kris Krekelberg's kitchen at the Aliveness Project. 

A nonprofit isn't immune to inflation, after all.

"We're up about 50 percent what we usually spend on what I usually order," Krekelberg said. "Eggs are up, most of the meats are up, some of the vegetables, even being towards the end of summer when those are usually cheap, those were still up."

With the annual Friendsgiving meal around the corner, the Aliveness Project is feeling the weight, not of the turkeys, but their price. Krekelberg said he also had a difficult time finding boneless turkeys this year.

"We had to do the whole turkeys which is not a bad thing, but they were about double the price that they usually were," he said. "But we were able to get them."

Executive Director Matt Toburen said forgoing an opportunity to get together and break bread was not an option.

"Living with HIV can be isolating stigmatizing, many of our community don't have family, live alone, [are] homeless," Toburen said. "And so Aliveness provides a place where people can come in community."

The HIV resource center recognizes that food is something everyone needs, for better self care. Not only do they serve warm meals to those living with HIV, but they also have a food shelf where folks can come in and take home what they might need.

"Like, if I don't have a place to sleep, I can't take my medication and be healthy," Krekelberg said. "If I don't have anything to eat, that's what you're going to worry about all day--it's not like that goes away."

So on Wednesday, for the members and friends-only Friendsgiving, turkey will still be on the menu, along with all the sides and a post-meal treat.

Because the cost of a meal is still nowhere near the cost of missing out on serving those in need. 

"We're going to continue to move forward with friends giving and our holiday meals and services because this is the time when our community needs us the most," Toburen said.

The Friendsgiving meal is for The Aliveness Project members and their friends and families. If you would like to support the organization, you can find their link here.

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