PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Reaching those in need took on a new meaning this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Still, hundreds of people received a hand and a hot meal on Thanksgiving in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood.

The nonprofit organization Prevention Point Philadelphia on Thursday ensured hundreds of people who are facing real hardships this Thanksgiving had hot food to eat this holiday.

More than 500 home-cooked meals were served to people experiencing housing or food insecurity on Thursday afternoon.

“There’s definitely a big need in the neighborhood,” Ruley said. “This is the 19143 zip code, which is the most impoverished zip code in the city of Philadelphia.”

Among the people who received a meal is Joe Rudolph of Frankford. Rudolph used to work as a roofer but is currently out of work, homeless, and now panhandles for money.

“As I’m homeless, I currently panhandle for money,” Rudolph said. “It’s kind of shameful, but I do it for now. People don’t want to be bothered, they don’t want to roll down their windows. They’re scared. They really don’t want to interact with anybody, especially us out here. I guess they feel we’re higher at risk and everything. I just try to keep my mask on. If I didn’t get this meal, it would be on be whatever’s handed to me, I guess, while I’m asking for help out there. Whatever I can scrounge up. If I got money, I’d go to McDonald’s or something.”

“This means everything,” Rudolph added, “it does. It makes the day so much better.”

The Turkey Day meals were handed out thanks to groups like Step Up to the Plate and businesses like Catering By Design.

“Unfortunately, there’s a never-ending need. My team feels like it’s a worthwhile pursuit of our time and their time knowing that we’re helping someone,” Peter Loevy, with Catering By Design, said.

Clothing was also distributed on Thursday.

Organizers say the need doesn’t stop at the end of Thursday. Prevention Point Philadelphia hands out meals, clothes, and provides other services all week long.

For more information on how you can help out, click here.


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