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Hundreds Lining Up For Free Thanksgiving Meal 'Speaks To The Need' In Cincinnati

There were hundreds of smiling faces as they went through the line to get a turkey and all the fixings.
There were hundreds of smiling faces as they went through the line to get a turkey and all the fixings.

Nina Garwood is one of the first in line every year at St. Vincent de Paul's annual Thanksgiving food distribution. When it was all over late Tuesday morning, the local charitable organization would hand out 1,450 turkeys along with all the fixings.

Garwood was one of hundreds in line Tuesday at the Society's Liz Carter Outreach Center in the West End. She is humbled and grateful for the help.

The West End resident brought a stroller to help wheel the heavy bird, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables and more to her home nearby. She has eight people to feed, and sometimes goes hungry if there isn't enough food for everyone, especially her grandchildren. "So I think more about my grandchildren than anything else, to make sure they have, and if it comes down to it, I won't eat that day."

Nina Garwood used a stroller to carry her food.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
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Nina Garwood used a stroller to carry her food.

She receives monthly help from St. Vincent de Paul and says food stamps don't quite go far enough for her family. Garwood arrived at 2:45 a.m. to wait in line for the turkey. 

"Eventually, the line will stretch around the block, which, I think, speaks to the need and the importance that these distributions have for those in need in our region," St. Vincent de Paul Director of Community Relations Skip Tate wrote in an email. 

Right before the distribution began, Robert Harris began singing, "What do you say about my Jesus?" A loud chorus of people chimed in.

Robert Harris praises Jesus through the megaphone and others join in.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
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Robert Harris praises Jesus through the megaphone and others join in.

Derrell Jackson and his brother lined up on Monday afternoon. "Anything you need for a Thanksgiving meal they give it to you," Jackson says, who kept warm in his van with blankets.

Jackson also looked forward to the fellowship and the midnight food. "We had hot metts, chicken, greens - what else did we have? Marshmallows, hot dogs..."

Making the distribution go smoothly was more than 100 volunteers.

Hundreds braved chilly temperatures to wait in line for hours.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
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Hundreds braved chilly temperatures to wait in line for hours.

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