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One man’s promise put Thanksgiving on the table for 204 local families

For some people, Thanksgiving dinner was simply off the table this year. The American Farm Bureau estimated the country as a whole would pay 18.3% more for their turkey dinner, while the Wisconsin Farm Bureau put this year's Thanksgiving price at $74.54 per family. 

Personally, Thanksgiving is a celebration that isn’t quite celebrated in my family. But I still welcomed the chance to enjoy a warm meal and time spent with people I care about. 

That extended to my weekend Friendsgiving — an informal tradition where friends bring a blend of dishes and celebrate together. We roasted chicken instead of turkey, and had Middle Eastern and South Asian sides that resulted in my refilling my plate an embarrassing number of times. 

That experience isn’t universal. One in five adults reported food insecurity in 2022, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute. The rising cost of living due to this year’s inflation surge has burdened low-income families and contributed to the issue. 

Although it's been challenging to meet demand, local food banks have helped alleviate the hardship. Then there are the individuals who step up to make a difference. My colleague at Radio Milwaukee, Chad Roper, is one of those people. 

On the Saturday before the holiday, he organized a Feeding Families event at the Dominican Center that made sure 204 families had seats at a food-filled Thanksgiving table. In the process, he kept a promise made a long time ago.

In this episode of Uniquely Milwaukee, web editor Brett Krzykowski has a heartfelt conversation with Chad on giving back and paying it forward. 

Audio Storyteller / 88Nine On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee