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Mozel Sanders Foundation delivers millionth meal

The foundation has been helping feed families on Thanksgiving since 1971

INDIANAPOLIS — The Mozel Sanders Foundation served its one millionth meal this year, despite facing hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic. The foundation presented the meal and other gifts to an Indianapolis mother of eight.

The meal was delivered right at noon in front of the home of Nicole Gonzales with her children surrounding her. The mother said she was blessed and thankful, but also struggling because of the pandemic.

“I’m just happy that you’re able to help us,” she said. “I’m still happy that people still have a heart. A lot of people don’t care anymore.”

The Mozel Sanders Foundation had hoped to hit the milestone in 2020, but the pandemic forced it to reduce the number of meals it could deliver. Last year, the group fed more than 11,000 people. The goal in 2021 was to offer meals to another 10,000. However, before the pandemic, the family foundation had served up to 40,000 people in a day.

Credit: WTHR
An Indianapolis family were the recipients of the one millionth meal delivered by the Mozel Sanders Foundation.

“I mean, that’s all we can host with the pandemic,” said president and CEO Stephanie Sanders. “That’s the best we can do.”

The foundation stopped taking requests for meals 10 days before Thanksgiving because it had a limited number of donations.

In total, it had 700 volunteers at 12 satellite locations and 15 kitchens. Workers prepared 3,370 pounds of turkey, more than 3,100 pounds of dressing and 20,000 dinner rolls, as well as hundreds of gallons of gravy and green beans.

Credit: WTHR
Mayor Joe Hogsett and Gov. Eric Holcomb visited the Mozel Sanders Foundation on Thanksgiving.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb visited Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis to volunteer and commend the foundation.

The foundation has fed Hoosiers on Thanksgiving since 1971. Over the last 50 years, it inspired other groups and organizations to gather and feed the hungry in their own communities.