Chum hands out hundreds of Thanksgiving Meals to Northland residents

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 4:21 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - A Duluth-based nonprofit is feeding Northland residents ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

An annual tradition returned to the Twin Ports on Monday, with Chum providing nearly a hundred Thanksgiving Day meals. Chum filled the boxes with Thanksgiving meal staples including a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

“It takes a large pressure off of people my age, to not have to worry about being able to provide for a holiday for your family and kids,” Duluth Resident Rochelle Steinhilb said.

The line wrapped around Our Savior’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Monday morning, with people waiting to get a free meal box.

Steinhilb said grocery prices for a Thanksgiving meal has become unaffordable for her and her family.

“The prices are outrageous,” Steinhelb said. “I don’t have $30 for a turkey, it wasn’t going to happen. The kids were going to get spaghetti out of grandma.”

Chum distributed nearly 100 meal boxes Monday, which is a 50 box increase compared to the past few years. The organization is expected to hand out even more boxed meals Tuesday and Wednesday before the holiday.

“When I started, we were giving away 80-100 boxes for the holiday, and now we are at 350,” Chum’s Distribution Services Director Scott Van Daele said. “That’s a huge jump in the course of six years.”

Van Daele said community donations fund the Thanksgiving meal boxes.

“I think for us, it’s just something that we’re extremely proud of,” Van Daele said. “We’ve done it for as long as I know and anybody can remember. Chum has always been that place where we give away food all the time.”

Chum is offering more opportunities to pick up food, including Wednesday at Chum’s food shelf at 120 North 1st Ave. West. The distribution starts at 10 a.m. and will go until they run out of the 200 boxes. No sign-up is required.

To learn more about Chum, or to donate to the organization, click here.

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