Gerry Lipski and his husband, Randy Fox, have been volunteering at MANNA on the vacation for about 30 years.
“I don’t know what Thanksgiving can be with out it,” Lipski mentioned.
Wearing a turkey hat, Lipski couldn’t be missed as he known as out directions and assisted within the meeting strains on the second-floor kitchens at MANNA headquarters in Spring Garden.
Over the years, he and Fox have taken the lead of the Thanksgiving distribution, which feeds greater than 3,600 individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suburbs, and South Jersey.
The dimension and scope of the group has considerably grown since its inception in 1990. Then, the principle focus was supporting individuals with HIV/AIDS.
“Back then, it was principally a loss of life sentence, and there was additionally a stigma,” Lipski mentioned. “We’d go to the consumer’s home…and generally we’d be the one individuals they might see all week. Not solely would we ship the meal, we’d sit with them, we’d do their laundry, stroll their animals, feed their pets.”
Today, MANNA continues to serve individuals residing with HIV/AIDS, but additionally gives meals, vitamin training, and counseling to individuals residing with most cancers, kidney illness, coronary heart illness, diabetes, and different medical situations.
The group employs a group of dieticians, researchers, and different professionals who tailor meals and packages to individuals’s particular well being situations.
“People depart the hospital with their discharge orders they usually get instructed the place to go to choose up their drugs, the place they’ll go for his or her chemo and radiation or bodily remedy,” Daugherty mentioned. “And then usually there’s a really difficult weight loss plan. What we hear from our shoppers again and again, is that it’s such a aid that we are able to take away that burden from them.”