ORLANDO, Fla. — While many people were traveling or cooking to get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, hundreds of others were sorting food.
- Many will benefit from food donations
- Volunteers sort food into 2,000 boxes
- View our Thanksgiving Guide here
The volunteers gathered at Ocoee High School Wednesday to load boxes of food for families so they can have a Thanksgiving meal.
Volunteers worked for several hours, some until about 1 a.m., on Thanksgiving.
Every year, Southeastern Food Bank gets about two semi-loads of food donated from Publix.
Volunteers sort food into about 2,000 boxes and then deliver those boxes to families in Ocoee, Apopka and parts of Orlando.
Volunteers say it makes them realize how fortunate they are this time of year, compared with others who are not so fortunate.
"I went to the store and bought what I needed, I didn't think twice about it," said Theresa Stiteler. "They don't have it easy like that at all."
Southeastern Food Bank delivers food to more than 1,000 families on Thanksgiving morning.
For more than two dozen years, Mark Anthony has led Southeastern Food Bank's holiday food drive.
"I'm blessed, blessing others blesses me, honestly," said Anthony.
He says he is even surprised at how many people show up to help.
"I have a very small staff. We could never do all this without the volunteers, and when you look around you see little kids, older people, and some people who've been volunteering for more than 15 years," he exclaimed.
It is the first year for Stiteler and her kids.
"It's part of recognizing how much you have, when you can give back it reminds us how much we have to be grateful for," Stiteler said.
It means she is now has to juggle her own Thanksgiving feast with helping to make someone else's possible.
"I'd be cooking and getting the pies ready and stuff like that, so I tried to do most of that this afternoon so we could come here and be a part of this," she pointed out.
However, she reflects on what this oppturnity to volunteer means.
"One of the things we'll be thankful for is the chance to give back," Stiteler revealed.