This Thursday we'll all most likely take a moment to think about what we're thankful for. For many more people this year, food may be on that list.
Feeding America reports 15 million more people are struggling with hunger right now. That's one in six Americans.
They predict the food insecurity rate for children in Florida will have gone up by almost 20 percent this year. That's thousands more children without reliable access to food. Right now one in five children struggle with hunger in our area.
Hundreds of people are expected to come downtown to Sulzbacher to get a Thanksgiving meal. You don't have to be homeless to eat; they will serve anyone who is hungry.
Sulzbacher expects to serve over 500 people at their Downtown Campus for Men on East Adams Street. It will be to-go style.
It's the first time in 25 years that volunteers will not be serving the meal; only staff will be. This hit home with Eileen Briggs who is usually at the meal every year and loves the decorations, festive atmosphere and feeling of unity.
She's expecting more families who've never needed help before to show up for their Thanksgiving meal at Sulzbacher.
"I think the spirit of Thanksgiving will still be there," said Briggs, Sulzbacher's Chief Development Officer. "The people that we serve will still be able to feel the love and the care of the community because they are getting this wonderful meal. It just lets people know that they do care about them and we haven't forgotten about them."
She expects to see more people who have never needed help before.
"When you see a family driving up in their car and getting out of the car with their children and standing in line for a Thanksgiving meal, that really highlights the problem that's out there," Briggs said. "It's difficult to see but we see it every day."
She says their program to help keep people from being evicted is completely full.
A bright spot here is Briggs says the community has already donated everything Sulzbacher needs so they are not accepting donations right now. They will help you connect with another organization that needs help.
You have a few more days to help within Feeding Northeast Florida's Empty Bowls, which goes until Dec. 1.