Helping feed Milwaukee families this holiday season

Food 4 the Holidays program

CREATED Nov 21, 2011 - UPDATED: Nov 21, 2011

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MILWAUKEE - It's a time when most families sit down to a warm meal and give thanks, but some in southeast Wisconsin don't have as much to be thankful for this year.

Deangelo Barron tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka that's the case for him, "Honestly Thanksgiving and Christmas I haven't exactly had the greatest ones."

Barron moved to Milwaukee from Chicago and despite not having a place to call his own, he's got a hot meal today.  "I don't like feeling like I'm a burden on other people so I decided to try to go to a shelter so I could try to make it for myself.  I don't like taking more than I need but it really feels nice that someone actually wouldn't mind helping out someone else."

And a little help from Feeding America is all Deangelo needs now that he's in Milwaukee.  "Chicago's a bit more of a hostile place and Milwaukee's a little slower paced, you can really get on your feet a little bit easier and people are way, way nicer here," says Barron.

Feeding America has teamed up with TODAY'S TMJ4 for their Food 4 the Holidays program, and they're hoping the 'Milwaukee nice' spirit has a significant impact on donations this year.

Feeding America president Bonnie Bellehumeur says the need is even higher this year.  They've seen more than a 20 percent increase in the amount of food they distribute in the past two years, "We're really hoping to raise more money and more food of course because the need is so great.  This being the holiday season, we're really trying to see that everyone that is in need has a good holiday meal."

But not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  50,000 pounds of food leaves the Feeding America warehouse every day, so they want donations to come in all season long.  "Hunger isn't just a one day event, it's something that families experience day in and day out," says Bellehumeur.

A one dollar donation will provide five meals, so a seventeen dollar donation could feed a whole family of four for a week.  And that means a lot to Deangelo.  "I'd like to say thank you all, really appreciate it, I'm pretty sure a lot of people here appreciate it.  I feel as though that's what Milwaukee does for a lot of people, it's a good place to lay a foundation down so you can actually build something for yourself, make something out of your life."

Donate from 3-6:30pm today using our phone bank (414) 967-5417 or (888) 363-0023.  You can donate non-perishable food items or money at any Associated Bank all season long.