Financially struggling Detroit families received much-needed help ahead of the holidays as grocery prices skyrocket.
NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson was at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit on Saturday (Nov. 12) to help distribute free turkeys, hams, winter coats, toys and other items to about 800 families, The Detroit News reported.
The Magic Johnson Foundation, Ebenezer Church, which facilitated the distribution of vouchers, and several other partners hosted the drive-through event.
Johnson, a Lansing, Mich. native, worked alongside volunteers who loaded packages of food and other items into the car trunks of people in awe of the basketball star.
“Everybody should be able to enjoy the holidays, to be able to feed their families and sometimes because it is tough, we want to step in and make sure that they can have a good Thanksgiving and hopefully as well as Christmas,” Johnson told The Detroit Free Press.
“A lot of times it's not even their fault that they're hurting, so we just want to make sure that we bless families at this time of need. And my heart feels so good to be home,” he added.
Inflation is forcing many budget-squeeze households to cut back at Thanksgiving this year. Turkey prices are up 17 percent compared to 2021, CNBC reports. Other key ingredients also cost a lot more. The price of eggs rose 43 percent, and butter is up nearly 34 percent. Vegetable prices also increased moderately.
“Inflation is at unprecedented levels, families are hurting, things are unstable,” Bishop Edgar Vann of Ebenezer Church told the Free Press. “People don't know what's going to happen next for many of them. And so families are often left in an area sort of in the lurch a bit, and so we think we're filling in a very important and significant gap.”
Lawanda Sampson told the Detroit News that a family member who attends Ebenezer Church informed her about the event, which will help her 12 - and 5-year-old grandchildren.
“This is a great opportunity. ... They were saying that they were giving toys and stuff away," Sampson said. "They're going to be happy, you know they're happy for anything they can get."
Several other corporate and nonprofit organizations contributed to the event. They included Oklahoma-based nonprofit Feed the Children, which helped secure food for the 800 families, and General Motors provided funds and volunteers.
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