‘Thankful’: Americans Reach Out to Families, Others in ‘Hunger at Home’ Series

VIDEO: Americans have donated enough to get 1.6 million people the food they need.

Image credit: ABC

This Thanksgiving, ABC News reconnected with several people interviewed during its “ Hunger at Home: Crisis in America” series to see whether their situations had changed for the better.

In every corner of the U.S., the number of families considered “ food insecure” is staggering.

More than 46 million people — one in seven — rely on food stamps. Nearly 17 million children nationwide are struggling with what is known as food insecurity, according to a Feeding America study.

Click here to donate to Feeding America.

In Philadelphia, this summer, Jazhaire Sutton , 10, showed ABC News the inside of his family’s refrigerator.

“As you can see, we’re missing food,” he said.

The Prousi family also in Philadelphia watched the ABC News segment and saw Jazhaire’s story.

“I was moved when the little boy said he wanted to be a senator,” said Michael Prousi .

Now when the Prousis buy groceries, they buy a little extra and take it to Jazhaire and his mother. The family even bought them a Thanksgiving meal.

“I felt thankful and grateful because they didn’t really have to do that,” Jazhaire said. “They could have just left us. We could have been struggling without food.”

In Arkansas, Pastor Bob ran a food drive once a month on what he called “miracle Saturday.” Down to his last $250, he said the lines of families had gotten so long, that he was not sure he’d be able to help everyone in need.

Recently, Pastor Bob said that after the ABC News piece aired, he received $23,000 in donations. He bought five freezers.

“It just came from all over the United States,” he said. “We had probably 10 different states…I even had one person just send a dollar but I thank God for that. That dollar made a difference.”

This month he helped feed 4,000 people and brought them Thanksgiving.

During the summer, the McKimmons sisters near Fort Smith , Ark., told ABC News that although their parents worked, there were still times the family didn’t know where their next meal would come from.

“I hear my kids ask me, ‘Mommy, what’s for dinner?’” their mother, Dawn , said. “And there are times when I just sit there and it’s like, ‘Gosh. What is for dinner?’”

Today, their girls’ father, Michael, is looking for a job but Dawn got a raise. Though the family still struggles, the girls no longer ask about dinner.

“At least now we get to come home from work or school and we know what’s going to be for dinner that night,” Dawn said.

If you would like to donate money to help those in need of food there are several ways:

Donate to Feeding America here.

You can also make a food donation to your local food pantry. For a list of food pantries in your area, click here.

Click here for full coverage of ABC News’ Hunger at Home: Crisis in America

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