"Our goal was to giveaway 400 food baskets but, like last year, we ended up going over and gave away 450 baskets," said Frances Wright, CEO of the South Side nonprofit organization. "Helping families during hard economic times is one of things we try to do."
Besides a 10-pound turkey, also distributed were food baskets that included canned goods, corn, green beans, a dozen eggs, dinner rolls, and fresh fruits and vegetables — enough to feed a family of six.
Carshena White, a 22-year-old single mother of four, traveled from her North Lawndale home to the South Side to get a food basket.
"I have been coming here for the last three years and have always gotten a good portion of food, so I am grateful," White said. "I think events like this are needed more on the West Side though, because there's not a lot of resources in my neighborhood."
Cynthia Williams, who traveled from south suburban Justice to get a food basket, said she plans to volunteer next year.
"The process that was set up was fair and quick. Everybody was nice and helpful," Williams said. "This was my first time here and I really like what I saw from the volunteers. So, next year I will see if they need any more volunteers."
Among the volunteers were Henrietta Leak, whose husband, Spencer Leak Sr., is board chairman of Black on Black Love.
"I love to help people. I am in the business of helping families get through a difficult time in their life when they have lost a loved one," said Leak, whose family owns Leak and Sons Funeral Homes in Grand Crossing.
And Williams's daughter, Elaine Williams, was a first-timer, too.
"Like my mom, this is my first time coming here to get a turkey and I have lived in Englewood my whole life," said the 23-year-old single mother of one. "I never really knew about this giveaway but I do know about others. I like this place better because they make sure you get plenty of food and not just a turkey."
The distribution process for baskets gave first preference to people who had vouchers, which were handed out by various community organizations, such as churches, Wright said. Those without vouchers were served afterwards.
Mary Helms was among those who showed up without a voucher.
"I heard about this event Saturday when I was at Rainbow/PUSH," said the unemployed, Hyde Park resident. "I have a 17 and 20-year-old at home with me and we could always use a little bit extra when it comes to food."