South LA Families In Need Get Help With Their Thanksgiving Dinners

Inflation and shipping problems at U.S. ports mean some families are struggling to get food for Thanksgiving this year. "Everybody can't afford this," said one South LA woman. "I can't."

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For around 1,000 families in South Los Angeles, help is arriving ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Salvation Army is distributing free turkeys to neighbors in need, to help with their Thanksgiving dinners.

"The line goes quick, it goes fast," said Denise Bynum, one of the hundreds lined up this year to receive their turkey. "And it goes all the way around the corner!"

Some lined up outside the South LA Salvation Army as early as 4:30 a.m. on Saturday for a free turkey.

"When I went to Ralph's yesterday, everything was so expensive," said Bynum. "I was like, 'Really you guys? Really?!'"

She's not the only one. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index rose 6.2% from previous years, hitting a 30-year high.

Meat, poultry, fish and eggs are among the foods most impacted by the price hikes.

Bynum, trying to feed her sister, nieces and nephews this Thanksgiving, was brought to tears with her free turkey in hand.

"Everybody can't afford this," she said. "I can't. I've never had kids or a husband, so it's hard for me. I want to cry right now because it's so hard. It's so hard."

Irene Lewis, director of the Salvation Army Community Center in South LA, has noticed the increase in the number of people they serve.

"The increase has been phenomenal, it’s significant, so that’s why we depend on our supporters our donors who allow us to serve the community we do," she said.

Volunteers were up bright and early to help load turkeys into bags. Saturday's event was the first in their goal to feed up to 12,000 families this Thanksgiving season.

The giveaway was made possible with donations from CMA CGM, a major shipping company dealing with supply issues firsthand.

After getting their turkeys, these South LA families are focused on enjoying a Thanksgiving meal with their loved ones.

"I’m going to bake it in the oven and put dressing around it and give it a gravy," said turkey recipient Joe Bages.

"This is a blessing, you guys," said Bynum. "This is really a blessing."

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