The nonprofit With God’s Grace braved the cold on Sunday to provide approximately 1,000 local families with Thanksgiving meals, including side dishes with either a turkey or a gift card to local grocery store, on Springfield Street in Dayton.
“With God’s Grace is doing our Thanksgiving mobile,” Nicole Adkins, executive director and founder of With God’s Grace, said on Sunday. “We were only going to be doing 1,000 side dishes, but with the community support, we ended up being able to do over 200 turkeys and over 800 gift cards for the families within the community.”
Approximately one in nine Ohioans face hunger, along with one in six children, according to Feeding America. Hunger has also been on the rise since the pandemic with food pantries within the Ohio Association of Foodbanks reporting a 12.4% increase in the number of households they served in 2021 over 2019.
Food pantries within the Ohio Association of Foodbanks served over 2.7 million people from April to June 2022, even as 1.5 million Ohioans continue to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Emergency Allotments under the public health emergency. Approximately 40.3% of households receiving SNAP benefits have children, according to Feeding America.
With God’s Grace holds Thanksgiving mobiles each year, in addition to operating other mobile locations throughout the Dayton region. On Saturday, they were in Huber Heights and served over 200 families.
“We go to different mobile locations throughout the Miami Valley,” Adkins said.
With God’s Grace’s first mobile was in December 2015, and they became a nonprofit in March 2016, Adkins said. The nonprofit grew out of Adkins’ and others’ efforts to help those in need through their church.
“We were at my church here in Dayton, and they needed help with Thanksgiving, so we helped 50 families with Thanksgiving,” Adkins said. “After that, we did 100 through our church, and we had 100 extra (meals). So I owned a vacuum shop in Fairborn at the time, so we used that parking lot and did our first mobile.”