DETROIT (WXYZ) — Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different for many families this year because of safety precautions due to COVID-19.
The pandemic has also forced Cass Community Social Services to change how it plans to serve those who rely on the agency for a holiday meal.
Rev. Faith Fowler, the executive director of CCSS, said they are in desperate need of 300 frozen turkeys in the next several days in order to prepare meals for delivery and are looking to the community for support.
This week, 7 Action News anchors Carolyn Clifford and Dave LewAllen delivered and unloaded frozen turkeys they purchased along with three boxes of turkeys donated by Heartland Marketplace in Farmington Hills. Each year, Cass Community Social Services prepares and serves 700,000 meals to men, women and children from the community who live in poverty, face joblessness and often homeless. The need is even greater this year due to the pandemic, which requires most meals to be delivered.
“Even a contactless drop at the door and a wave and a smile and have a nice day makes a difference,” Fowler told 7 Action News. “People are lonely and depressed and hungry for human contact as well as for food.”
Empty boxes are lined up against a wall at CCSS headquarters on Rosa Parks Boulevard. They plan to fill them with a turkey and all the fixings for a holiday meal sure to fill stomachs and warm hearts.
“We’d like to make sure they each have a turkey and dressing and stuffing and all that stuff that we enjoy in this country,” Fowler said. “It’s going to take some extra boxes because we’re going to each and every home rather than having them all come in and eat congregate style here.”
The call for donations came first in a Facebook post by chef and restaurateur Matt Prentice, who donates his time to oversee food operations at CCSS. In his post, he requested 10 to 20 pound turkeys to help fill their needs for the holiday.
“When you’re picking up one for your family, pick up one of the same size,” Fowler suggested. “Somebody will have a family just like yours. Maybe it’s just a couple. Maybe it’s a family with seven kids but somebody would appreciate the meal you’re having.”
Chandra McDuffie, who is one of the team members who delivers meals to clients, said the need is great this year.
“Even though people are collecting unemployment, some of that might have stopped and right now people are getting laid off again so whatever help that we can get, we appreciate,” McDuffie said.
Frozen turkeys can be dropped off daily at Cass Community Social Services, which is located at 11745 Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit. The building’s parking lot is fenced but there is a doorbell on the gate that will get you right to the front door for the easy drop off of all donated turkeys. The phone number to contact CCSS is 313-833-2277.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.