CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - The Holidays are coming early in Cairo. Illinois. Comptroller Susana Mendoza and her staff delivered free Thanksgiving food to the people of Cairo Tuesday morning.
This comes at a time when Cairo is still classified as a "food desert." That is, having no grocery store with fresh produce.
One man donated his truck to drive the food and Mendoza's Springfield, and the Chicago offices donated the food for the families.
Resident Earline Lyons received her voucher to receive her Thanksgiving food for her family of 10.
"If I didn't have this, I probably wouldn't have Thanksgiving," Lyons said. "I guess we would have chicken and dressing. I don't know, it probably would have been a mess. But I thank God for this."
The comptroller's office secured donations for not only some of this food and canned goods, but also a butterball turkey without using a cent of the taxpayers dollars.
Mendoza explains her motivation for visiting Cairo.
"The best way I think that I could want to spend my Thanksgiving week was here in Cairo, letting people know that we care about them, that we know that they exist, but more importantly that we want to help make things better," Mendoza said.
Mendoza partnered with Mayor Coleman and Representative Phelps Finnie along with Family Counseling Service Center to identify families that can benefit from this delivery.
With no grocery store in Cairo, Beverly Davis felt this was right on time.
"To me, it means a lot ... very thankful because they did have to ... nobody have to but since they do," David said. "I guess we are all thankful for it because a lot of people was not going to have nothing to eat. So this is a blessing."
"It starts by coming out here, by paying attention and by really just putting our heart and soul into making things better for the people and giving them something to believe and not just empty words but actually word commitment, that's why we're out here today," Mendoza said.
According to the Comptroller's Office, the event was such a success, they are considering making it an annual trip each Thanksgiving.