Ongoing hunger is a huge problem in our community that Cristo Rey Community Center seeks to address. With over 45% of Ingham County’s population at risk from suffering from food-insecurity at any given time, it is organizations like Cristo Rey Community Center that provide local families relief from hunger whether it is a one-time meal through our Community Kitchen or Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, or through longer-term services like CRCC’s Community Pantry.
Every year Cristo Rey Community Center serves more than 22,000 meals through its Community Kitchen. These 22,000 meals are in addition to the more than 530,000 lbs of food that is distributed through CRCC’s Community Pantry and Open Distribution.
Thanksgiving is an especially poignant time to consider hunger among our neighbors: food is life, food is family, food is community coming together and growing together. Thanks to the amazing efforts of many, many hands CRCC is able to (1) serve sit-down meals to anyone who comes hungry and (2) deliver meals to anyone who reaches out in-need but is home-bound and unable to travel.
“Some are down on hard times, some have been down on hard times for a long time. A lot of these are seniors, some are living alone or are disabled. Some of these are folks that just don’t have a job and don’t know where to go. And, some folks may just not want to eat alone on this day,” explained the Thanksgiving Feast Director, Michael Hood.” READ MORE: WILX Giving Thanks By Giving Back
“I love seeing all these efforts bear fruit, but when I see this place filled I know people are hurting,” said Hood, the event organizer at the community center, which has hosted the dinner for more than 25 years. Each year more and more people come to the feast, Hood said. Some people who come can’t afford to put food on the table while others have no family close by to visit, so they come together for a dinner at the center. “Thanksgiving is the most important family holiday of the year,” he said. “It also accentuates hardship. We’re here to help those in need.” READ MORE: LSJ Volunteers Prepare Turkey Dinner for 600 People
“For more than 20 years now Cristo Rey Community Center has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the community and by the community. “We can’t do an event like this without the community,” said Joe Garcia, executive director, Cristo Rey Community Center. From setting up, taking orders serving up food and delivering it, volunteers are needed at every step of the event to serve every need.” READ MORE: WLNS Cristo Rey Serves Thanksgiving Dinner, Delivers Meals