Kids and parents prepare Thanksgiving meals for DC’s food insecure, homeless

Organizers, parents and children helped prepare food for the homeless and food insecure at the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center in Northwest. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

It’s almost turkey time, and with it comes the spirit of giving back.

Through Monday, over 700 volunteers in D.C. will be preparing food for those in need this Thanksgiving during the 26th Annual Everything but the Turkey event at the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center.

“We will make over 12,000 servings of Thanksgiving food for folks experiencing food insecurity and homelessness,” Sonya Weisburd, director of the Edlavitch DCJCC, told WTOP.

Edlavitch DCJCC will deliver food to the D.C. Central Kitchen, who will deliver the sides along with a turkey to many who are food insecure on Thanksgiving Day. The snack bags assembled will be delivered by So Others Might Eat.

That will feed about 5,000 people, according to the organizer.

“I like to think of this event as a low-barrier entry event to folks who may then stick around to volunteer and really understand more in-depth what systemic inequality looks like, why people experience homelessness (and) why they experience food insecurity,” said Weisburd.

Sunday morning saw dozens of volunteers, including many young kids, pack a meeting room to assemble ready-to-eat mac and cheese kits, and other snack bags.

The Kaplans were among the families who volunteered to prepare food for the homeless and food insecure at the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center in Northwest. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Saul Kaplan was one of the many kids helping out. He said he enjoyed making the macaroni kits, “because we need to do nice things for people who don’t have as much as everyone else.”

His sister Sylvie, meanwhile, enjoyed making cards for those that would receive the side dishes.

“We put stickers on it,” said Sylvie. “And I drew hearts and a garden.”

Their father, Alan Kaplan, was right alongside his kids dedicating a couple of hours to service.

“In Judaism, this is a critical part of how we view things. It’s this constant reminder that it’s our duty, not just a privilege, but our duty, to give back and to help those who are less fortunate,” said Kaplan. “And this is how I can demonstrate and model that for my kids.”

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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