Atlanta nonprofit that has served Thanksgiving dinner for over 50 years hits record-breaking numbers

ATLANTA — A record low number of volunteers helped a record high number of people in Atlanta for Hosea Helps’ Annual Thanksgiving Festival of Service.

Hosea Helps has provided holiday meals for people in need for 53 years. This year, they helped about 1,500 people.

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“We’re living in tough times, and it’s hard for people to put food on the table,” Morgan said. “So, when they asked me to help, I was all in.”

Morgan is one of the volunteers who prepared the meals. Usually, there’s a line of volunteers helping him. This year, he did it with just a few at a time.

When he landed a food service contract and turned that around, he wanted to pay it forward. His Thanksgiving meals will go to people who live under bridges, overpasses, extended stays, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

“It’s just an unwavering commitment to being able to help people who are vulnerable.” Said Morgan.


Hosea Helps Executive Director Awodele Omilami said there were about 2,500 people that the nonprofit could not serve this year due to low donations.

“This year, we’re seeing more middle-class families than ever. We’re seeing individuals who are seeing a sudden loss of income,” Omilami said.

Omilami said the request for the nonprofit’s year-long services has increased by 40%, creating a greater need for people to volunteer and donate.

“I know what it looks like to have absolutely nothing,” said Morgan. “It’s about paying it forward, remembering those who I left behind in the streets during my time of homelessness.”

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