CHICAGO (WBBM) – Several of the candidates for Chicago mayor could be found this Thanksgiving dishing out turkey and the trimmings to the less fortunate.

But each said city government must be more creative in how it addresses such services day-to-day.

All agreed that although the need is great, the city’s budget is in crisis.

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Former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico said what the city cannot pay to provide, it must facilitate.

“What we might not be able to do directly with money as a government, the spirit and the volunteerism that lives among Chicagoans, is what’s going to get us through,” Chico said.

State Sen. James Meeks talked up public-private partnerships, and said that the city has already proved that the private sector can work with it to accomplish priority goals.

“Just as we rallied around the Olympics and raised private sector money for the Olympics, I would bet you between all of the people of good will in Chicago, we could rally around it and we could eradicate homelessness,” Rev. Meeks said.

While Chico and Meeks helped distribute meals to more than 150 people at Catholic Charities, 721 N. LaSalle St., U.S. Rep. Danny Davis was doing the same at Wallace’s Catfish Corner, 2800 W. Madison St.

Davis said the city must make sure it is getting the most for its money in all areas, so it can provide the best assistance possible to those who need it.

“And (it should) look for additional revenue sources because we know that there simply is not enough to meet all of the needs,” he said.

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