By JONATHAN LEIJA
David A. Perez and his wife have been feeding families on Thanksgiving for eight consecutive years now, and what started as a handful of volunteers has evolved into a community-based effort on all fronts. Volunteer, donate and nominate are the three calls of actions that Perez calls for at Free Hunger Nation.
This past Saturday, volunteers at the Free Hunger Nation headquarters formed an assembly line to help package the turkey, mashed potatoes, greens, gravy, soda and rolls that were distributed on November 21 to families in the community. Perez was alongside his troop of community volunteers delivering the prepackaged meals they put together two days prior to delivery date.
“During this year, there are more families in need, families that we have not even touched yet, families that many people would have never predicted would be in a situation like this. That is the most interesting part of this year; maybe last year they volunteered, but this year turned into recipients of a meal because of how different the economy is. They might have been laid off and even if it’s not a permanent lay off, just missing a couple months from work can really set a family behind on bills,” said Perez.
This year also proved to be a difficult one when it came to sponsorship. According to Perez, “We couldn’t just go door to door marketing and there was fewer businesses and people who could afford to contribute and we understand that, but none the less Century 21 Johnston, Premier Martial Arts, Broken Tap Bar, The Perfect Body Studio, Calvino Insurance, Un Xplored Visuals, The Food Pantry of San Benito, American Home Loans, Liberty Tax and Freedom Insurance are some of the local businesses that stepped up with sponsorship and we want to recognize them,” continued Perez.
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