Donated Thanksgiving meals help needy pay bills - WRBL

Donated Thanksgiving meals help needy pay bills

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Minnie Copper unpacks donated food that will allow her to spend her money on heat instead of groceries Minnie Copper unpacks donated food that will allow her to spend her money on heat instead of groceries
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Because of donated food, lots of people in need were able to get a holiday meal here in the Triangle but for many, it's more than just food for a day.

For those in need, the donated food will be stretched to provide meals for as long as possible because they don't have enough money to pay for food, gas, electricity and other basic necessities.

On Wednesday, Raleigh's Helping Hand Mission gave away the fixings for a Thanksgiving meal, including frozen turkeys, vegetables and bread.

On the day after Thanksgiving, the mission was giving away donated leftovers from those of us who had an overabundance of food.

As fast as those leftovers are coming in, the Helping Hand Mission repacked it and sent it out.

One of the recipients of that repacked meal was 60-year-old Minnie Cooper of Raleigh.

She got some leftovers, plus a box of other food items like potatoes, soup, and some canned vegetables. She'll have to stretch those items out over the next week.

"I'm on a fixed income and I can barely pay one thing before I have to pay something else," she said.

Cooper said she's already gotten a notice her gas will be shut off for non-payment because she's had to decide whether to pay that bill or buy food.

In the past, she said she's skipped meals to even though as a diabetic, she is supposed to take her medicine with food.

In place of a meal she said she just eats a piece of candy. That candy allows her to make the food at home last a few days longer.

That's why the Thanksgiving leftovers and the extra food the Helping Hand Mission brought are so crucial to Cooper. She'll try to make them last at least seven days.

The mission's director said there are lots of Minnie Coopers out there.

"It's tough," said Sylvia Wiggins. "They don't know where their next meal is coming from so they take advantage and use what they've got."

And that makes life for people like Cooper a day-to-day struggle.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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