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Irie Zulu and Tosa Cares help Milwaukee families have a warm Thanksgiving

Tosa Cares Food Pantry hosted its annual Thanksgiving Drive where they provide Thanksgiving food items, clothing, winter coats and more for free to families in need.

This year, about 400 Milwaukeeans came in for assistance and a Jamaican pre-Thanksgiving meal, courtesy of Irie Zulu’s owner Yollande Tchouapi Deacon.

Watch the video below to learn more.

Deacon has participated in this event for the last three years. “The families that attend this event, some of them have not had a warm meal in a year,” said Deacon. “I feel like the more blessings and more smiles we put out there, the better; it’s the holiday season.”

Lines formed at 8am on a Saturday morning at Mount Zion Lutheran Church in Wauwatosa. Close to 200 families in need were given everything they would need to have a happy Thanksgiving.

One by one, families went through different stations set up around the church. They were able to "grocery shop" for food items such as canned fruit and vegetables along with fresh fruit. They went through a Thanksgiving station stocked with cranberry sauces, corn, pumpkin and more.

People had the option of taking a free winter coat, other clothing items, personal hygiene items, a Thanksgiving turkey and winter holiday decorations. While families waited to make their way through the stations, Deacon provided a Jamaican-inspired pre-Thanksgiving meal.

“We’re in this event today here to connect people, not build walls,” said Deacon. “But to tear down those walls and make sure people understand that love wins, and love is all around us.”