Volunteers at the Greater Chicago Food Depository were in for a treat on Tuesday, as former President Barack Obama showed up with bags of donated food and latex gloves to help prepare Thanksgiving meals ahead of the holiday.

After his unannounced visit to the nonprofit Chicago food bank that distributes almost 160,000 meals a day to the hungry in Cook County, Obama took to Twitter to praise the volunteers.

“I am grateful for the next generation of leaders — the young people who are tolerant, creative, idealistic and doing the work to create the world as it should be. Who understand that hope requires action. From the Obama family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving,” Obama wrote. 

His organization, the Obama Foundation, also tweeted a video which showed footage of the longtime Chicago resident bagging potatoes alongside the volunteers. “The Greater Chicago @FoodDepository is a local non-profit organization that provides nourishing food for those in need. This Thanksgiving week, @BarackObama stopped by to give back,” the foundation wrote.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository also took to Twitter to thank Obama for his surprise visit and efforts. “Thank you to ⁦@BarackObama⁩ and ⁦@ObamaFoundation⁩ for joining our volunteers today at the Food Depository. We believe no one should go hungry, especially this time of year, and that’s why we’re working to address the root causes of hunger in Chicago and Cook County,” it wrote.

The food bank’s post included a video of Obama happily interacting with the volunteers. In the video, Obama hugs two little girls who are volunteering and tells them, “You guys are doing such a great job helping out. I’m really proud of you.”

This is not the first time Obama has volunteered during the Thanksgiving holiday, as he and his family volunteered a day before Thanksgiving in 2015 by serving dinner to the homeless and veterans at a Homeless Center in Washington. Obama is still living in Washington D.C. but was in his former home state for the second annual Obama Foundation Summit. This year the summit focused on finding ways to work together to bring positive changes in the world.


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