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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Thanksgiving At Miss Carly's Going Strong

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco
Carly Rice Founder of Miss Carly's

COVID-19 isn’t stopping a northern Illinois homeless outreach shelter from providing a Thanksgiving meal this year. Carly Rice is the founder of Miss Carly’s. Last year, she said they cooked over 50 turkeys.

“We were cooking turkeys for like a week. And it was a frantic frenzy to make sure we had enough plates and forks.”

This year, due to COVID-19, Miss Carly’s plans to pass out Thanksgiving-themed sandwiches with a side of cranberry sauce on the side. 

“It's real turkey,” Rice said.  “And then we're doing the crispy french fried onions on it. And good cheese like gouda, or havarti.”

Rice said she wants people to keep in mind how difficult the holidays can be for so many people.

“It's a really, really tough time for people who are living on the streets or have housing insecurities.” 

The shelter provides hundreds of meals per week so she expects there will be a large turnout to grab the Thanksgiving meal as well. Thanksgiving lunches will include a piece of pie too. 

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.