Food banks anticipate record Thanksgiving dinner attendance

Posted at 7:00 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 19:16:51-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Grocery prices in October were over 12% higher than last year, according to a report from the Labor Department released on Thursday.

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, grocery costs are top of mind.

“This year is really interesting because people may be able to put fuel in their car so they can get to work, but if they do that, they have to make a choice, and they might not be able to pay for food,” said Kim Livesay, director of development for Lexington Rescue Mission.

One study predicts the average Thanksgiving meal will cost about 13.5% more compared to last year. While some families may not be willing to forego Thanksgiving dinner, they won’t be able to foot the bill. Livesay is prepared to see those families showing up at their door.


“We are going to plan for more. We’re seeing a 19% increase in people this year over last year.”

As area food banks see record need, they’re also navigating record costs.

“Our food costs have increased 23% this year, which is quite an uptick, and the other thing we have is just problems finding the food we want,” said Livesay.

In the weeks leading up to their annual Thanksgiving dinner, Lexington Rescue Mission volunteers have been scouring grocery stores, reworking menus, and calling on donors to ensure their annual Thanksgiving dinner meets an ever-growing guest list.

According to Livesay, donors have answered the call and Thanksgiving dinner will welcome hundreds as it has in the past.

“I think donors are responding because the same thing that’s happening to our guests is happening to us,” explained Livesay. “When we go to the grocery store, we see the food price increase, so it’s not something that we can’t understand. We understand how much food is going up, and people really don’t want anyone in Lexington to go without a Thanksgiving meal, so they’re all banding together to make that possible.”

Lexington Rescue Mission will hold its Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday, November 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Broadway Christian Church. All are welcome.