TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW) --- “I have never seen anything that low in this place…it’s just…it’s kind of scary really,” Pauline Johnson, a longtime volunteer with the Topeka Community Thanksgiving Dinner said.
Food donations for the annual Topeka Community Thanksgiving Dinner were low Tuesday morning.
“You start getting a little worried. Are people going to get a full meal? Are they going to get their sides? Or are we just going to serve them turkey and pumpkin pie,” President of the dinner’s foundation, David Braun, asked.
Without food some volunteers, such as a group from the Capper Foundation, felt useless,
"We were here to volunteer, and they really weren't at a point that they needed our services because they didn't have food. So there really wasn't anything for us to do,” Edie Smith with Capper explained.
When 13 News told Dillons about the shortfall, they immediately served up more than $2,000 worth of food.
"So we called our store locations some of our larger stores who I knew would have a little bit of extra product. And we were able to pull the donations together,” Sheila Lowry, a spokesperson for Dillons said.
Volunteers from Capper and Dillons then surprised Braun with 26 cases of sweet potatoes, 14 cases of chicken stock, five cases of brown sugar, and 16 cases of cranberries.
Braun said the donations will ensure everyone has a full plate this holiday.
"So we have about 2,300 signed up for deliveries. So those will be meals going out. And then we do usually average about 900 to 1,000 in house. Hoping for a little more this year. We'd like to hit that 3,500 mark,” he said.
However the surprises were not done. Encompass Home Health delivered another $500 in food donations.
Some longtime volunteers were happy to get back to work.
"I do look forward to it. And of course my kids said mama you're 93 years old you don't need to do that...I can do it. I can do something,” Johnson added.
Any food left over will not go to waste. It will be donated to organizations such as the Rescue Mission or Let’s Help.