Record crowd for Thanksgiving distribution at Salt & Light
More than 800 people turned out Wednesday in hopes of getting one of 500 turkeys, along with the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner, being given away by the Salt & Light ministry in Champaign.
Salt & Light Executive Director Nathan Montgomery said 805 families turned out. Montgomery said it was the largest turnout ever for the giveaway, surpassing the record of 714 families served last year.
"The need has grown over the last couple of years with the economy and job losses," Montgomery said. "A lot of people came early and waited in line to see what they could get."
When the ministry ran out of turkeys, Montgomery said, 25 families were given chickens and another 125 families were given certificates for a free turkey dinner at Rosati's on campus, to be redeemed on Thanksgiving Day.
"At the end of the day, some people were disappointed they didn't get a turkey, but at least we could give all of them some food," Montgomery said.
Salt & Light is a non-profit organization based in Champaign that provides groceries, clothing and other goods to those in need.