Orlando Magic, local groups donate food in Eatonville ahead of Thanksgiving

Many struggle with inflated costs for traditional Thanksgiving meals

The Orlando Magic, alongside nonprofits, churches and other groups, teamed up Monday to help families ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Eatonville, Fla. – The Orlando Magic, alongside nonprofits, churches and other groups, teamed up Monday to help families ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Lines of cars arrived Monday afternoon in Eatonville, which organizers said is a community in need. They added that they want to get results so that no one is without food for the holiday.

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“Everything is sky-rocketed, so they are getting a lot of things that will supplement Thanksgiving, but it’s like the economy is making it harder for people already struggling,” Ebony Fultz said.

Ebony Fultz is the mother of Orlando Magic player Markelle Fultz. The two helped donate enough food to feed around 600 families. Families received plenty of food items, including turkeys, eggs and avocados.

“It’s nice to see other people care in the community and supporting and do want you to do well,” Owen Brown said.

Brown, a volunteer with the Omega Beta Beta chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., said donation drives like these mean the world to his community.

“Thanksgiving is a time where people like to be together and fellowship and enjoy themselves around food, and so this food will definitely be used in the community and definitely appreciated,” Brown said.

While food drives like these are helping communities in need, News 6 spoke to an economist from Florida Gulf Coast University, who said families may need to get creative this Thanksgiving.

“You’re going to find all the ingredients this year, so that’s the good news, the bad news is that prices are higher and there up across the board for some of the most essential ingredients,” economics professor Dr. Victor Claar said.

According to the American Farm Bureau, a feast feeding up to 10 people could cost around $64, which is an increase of 20% from last year’s price of nearly $53.

Turkeys are now sold on average at $28, which is $5 more than last year.

Claar said that although prices are high, there is still a silver lining: demand.

“You can still find a pretty good price on a bird because stores really want for you to come there to buy your turkey and not go anywhere else,” Claar said.

Claar said that families who can’t make it to food drives should think about finding alternatives to traditional meals.

“There are other things you can buy and serve to your families besides turkey and ham,” Claar said. “And this might be a great time to get creative and try something new.”

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About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.