For Thanksgiving, Please Consider Giving Back

Now is the time to remember those in need! As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, food banks and other charitable organizations all over Massachusetts are now accepting donations. Please consider getting into the spirit of giving and help those who really need it. You can either make a monetary donation or collect food to drop off at a food bank.

Recommended donation items include cereal, oatmeal, rice, beans, low sodium soup, stew, chili, pasta, low sugar canned fruits, canned tuna and chicken, peanut butter and jelly, chicken or beef broth, low sodium canned vegetables, granola bars, and nuts. Items MUST NOT be perishable or beyond their expiration date.

Here are some different organizations to which we hope you’ll consider donating.

1. Greater Boston Food Bank. The Greater Boston Food Bank’s (GBFB’s) Hunger Free Holidays campaign raises awareness and funds during the holiday season for the 1 in 10 who is food insecure. Our friends at Stop & Shop, with support from the Biogen Foundation, are leading the charge and helping us raise funds to provide healthy holiday meals to our neighbors in need. Together, Stop & Shop and the Biogen Foundation are matching up to $450,000 now through December 31st. Your participation will help individuals and families by providing them with a meal to enjoy with family, friends and loved ones this holiday season. A $25 donation will provide a healthy holiday meal for a family in need. To donate online, please click here.

2. United Way Thanksgiving Project. You can help feed 18,000 families this Thanksgiving! Food insecurity in Massachusetts doubled during COVID-19, with nearly 1 in 5 households struggling to put food on the table during the peak of the pandemic. While we’re on the road to recovery, we have a long way to go and too many families are still unable to make ends meet. With your support, we’re making sure every family in our community has food for the week of Thanksgiving. Since 2009, the Thanksgiving Project has grown to support tens of thousands of local families each year. The week before Thanksgiving, over 1,400 volunteers put their muscles to work by packaging food into individual Thanksgiving grocery bags and loading them onto UPS trucks for delivery. Distribution takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving in over 26 different communities through United Way’s partners, including regional nonprofits like Catholic Charities, Interfaith Social Services, the Lynn Housing Authority, the Weymouth Food Pantry, Lawrence Community Works, and more. To donate online, please click here.

3. The Gray House. Since The Gray House opened its doors in 1984, support from individual donors and businesses has played a crucial role. The Gray House relies on the compassion and generosity of individuals and groups in the community for donations of funds, food, educational/office supplies and time. When you donate to The Gray House, you are investing in our mission and the lives of those we serve. Donations can be dropped off at The Gray House, located at 22 Sheldon Street, Springfield, Massachusetts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9am to 3pm through Friday, November 19, 2021. To donate online, please click here.

4. Feeding America. There’s nothing like Thanksgiving to bring people together and remind us all we can be thankful for in our lives. The best way to get into the spirit is by volunteering in your own community. Here are some of the ways you can give back during Thanksgiving at your local food bank or food pantry: sort and pack food donated for Thanksgiving meals; assist families during their visit to the food bank or food pantry; deliver meals to the elderly, people with disabilities, and/or people with health conditions; and cook and serve dinner at a soup kitchen or community meal. During the coronavirus pandemic, volunteers are asked to follow additional safety measures like maintaining social distance and wearing masks. If you would like to help from home, please consider starting a virtual Thanksgiving food drive. To donate online, please click here.

5. Project Just Because. Project Just Because helps struggling families in their times of greatest need by supplying basic necessities including warm clothing, food and school supplies. We are dedicated to serving as many men, women and children as possible in a caring and dignified environment. As a conduit between those who want to give and those in need, Project Just Because fosters a stronger, more empathetic community. Project Just Because offers multiple ways to give back for the holidays, including donating directly, shopping their wish lists for most-needed items, filling holiday hearts for their Christmas program for needy children, and sponsoring a family. To donate online, please click here.

6. Interfaith Social Services. Each year, Interfaith provides Thanksgiving meal baskets to hundreds of households in need across the South Shore. We work closely with all of the other emergency food programs in the area to coordinate our efforts. Each family receives a meal package containing all the fixings for a holiday meal: potatoes, onions, carrots, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, green beans, corn, gravy, pie filling and a turkey or a supermarket gift card to purchase one. This year, Interfaith Social Services’ expects to provide Thanksgiving holiday meals to more than 1,400 households. Additionally, the Sunday before Thanksgiving every year is our annual In-gathering Food Drive. Individuals and houses of worship conduct food drives throughout November and then deliver donated food to our offices. This is not a drive for Thanksgiving food, but for nonperishables to keep the pantry shelves stocked during our busiest period of the year. To donate online, please click here.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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