Local organization, West Englewood church host Thanksgiving dinner for needy, migrants

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Thursday, November 23, 2023
Thanksgiving dinner held for needy, migrants in West Englewood
Servants for Hope and a West Englewood church hosted a dinner for the needy and migrants in Chicago this Thanksgiving 2023.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The fixings for a warm holiday meal are a comfort to many, but as Deonte Tanner experienced as a young child, it's a luxury some cannot afford.

"I remember days where I didn't know where the next meal was going to come from," Tanner said.

Now, the Englewood native has made it his life's work to serve others.

"I didn't want families to have to experience that - what I went through as a child," he said.

On Wednesday night, Tanner's organization, Servants for Hope, partnered with Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church to host a special Thanksgiving dinner

"We got some mac (and cheese), we got some jasmine rice, we got some yams, we got turkey," he said.

RELATED: Chicago-area food pantries work to feed hungry ahead of Thanksgiving, say need has grown

Dozens of volunteers served up these festive eats for those in need, including the neighborhood's migrant population.

"Seeing the conditions that exist at the police stations and people sleeping on floors - this is a heart response to what is going on," said Jonathan McKenzie, senior pastor of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church.

Tanner and the West Englewood church offered a free shuttle service for migrant families from the 7th Police District

Renzo Marca, who migrated to Chicago from Peru, was overwhelmed by the spirit of generosity surrounding him.

"Thank you God for this moment. Thank you God for the people," Marca said.

Tanner, driven by his faith, said he hopes to continue to serve this city and those in need until the need no longer exists.

"The goal is to never have to do these things again," he said. "And until we eradicate hunger, until we eradicate poverty, we got work to do, and the work starts with all of us."