Feeding South Florida Partner Agency Helps Brighten the Holidays

The line snaked through a Hollywood Bank of America parking lot for the second annual Thanksgiving turkey distribution hosted by Community Enhancement Collaboration.

“This is a need,” said CEC president Nadine McCrea. “Many families cannot afford a complete Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve pulled together our volunteers and sponsors to be able to give them that meal.”

More than 50,000 pounds of food, which included a turkey and all the Thanksgiving fixings, was given out to nearly 1,000 registered residents and walk-­ups. McCrea said this year’s turnout was up from the 600 last year.

Sponsors and supporters like Feeding South Florida, EZCorp and the Hollywood Women’s Club helped volunteers and the CEC distribute the food.

“The CEC does so much good for the community,” said EZCorp’s Victor Rosado. “This is great to be able to come and help Nadine and her team. It just feels good to help those that really need the help. We take for granted being able to go out and buy a turkey.”

So many people turned out that the line had to be cut off, but McCrea promised that they could come to the Washington Park food pantry the following Monday to get groceries for Thanksgiving.
“We know the need is there, and we never turn anyone away,” she said. “A lot of these people, we know personally.”

The distribution was the last of two CEC pre­Thanksgiving events. Earlier in the week, about 600 people came out for the 15th annual Thanksgiving Harvest Feast at the Washington Park Community Center.

“We had a full house,” McCrea said. “It was absolutely wonderful. We fed hundreds of people and delivered food to shut-­ins later that day.”

Students from Johnson & Wales University volunteered to serve a meal of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, cornbread and more at the feast, and Hollywood Mayor Peter Bober was among those on hand.
The CEC’s final holiday event of the year will be its 16th annual Holiday Decoration and Toy Drive Dec. 19-­20. Children and families are invited to come to the Washington Park gymnasium to help decorate. Families can register for the toy distribution until Dec. 15.
For more information, contact the CEC at 954­987­0625 or info@cecwashpark.org.

Sara Shell can be reached at sshell@tribune.com.

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