From Dan's Desk 

With the holiday season practically here, I’m so proud of what we have accomplished this past year. Working together, we have provided meals and relief throughout our community like never before.

Yet, as I celebrate all we have done, I know this important work is far from over. Right now, so many families are barely surviving. 

Regardless of the reason for their hardship, I intend to do everything I can to offer them relief, enabling them to get through these hard times. And I hope you’ll join me in this effort. 

When friends and neighbors gather around their dinner tables this Thanksgiving, it is so much more than a meal. It’s a reminder that each of us is part of this caring community.

This issue of Food Matters focuses on families who, because of kindhearted individuals like you, are getting the supplies they need to offer those they love a special meal. And that means so much to me. Thank you!

Remember: Every $10 helps provide up to 20 meals. Thank you for your kindness.


Dan Maher
President and CEO

“We’re All Struggling”

It’s been a rough couple of years,” says Kathy, alongside her 17-year-old daughter, Olyvia.

The pair were visiting their food distribution center to pick up some essential supplies, ensuring they have enough to eat in the coming days, including Thanksgiving.

“We come from a big family,” Kathy shared. In fact, Kathy has 42 nieces and nephews. Normally, she would be eagerly awaiting Thanksgiving and the chance to see her loved ones. But this year the family won’t be getting together.

“We’re all struggling, so we’re not coming together for Thanksgiving, unfortunately,” Kathy says. Kathy works as a cook at a local restaurant but isn’t able to make ends meet.

Thankfully, because of supporters like you, she can get vital supplies to put food on her table — including everything for a festive Thanksgiving dinner with her kids.

Your compassion eases the worry and hunger for people like Kathy and her family!


“We’d Be Unloading Turkeys All Day”

Ralph Deane and his son, Michael, used to volunteer every year at their local holiday distribution center. It’s an experience that they both enjoyed and looked forward to every winter.

“We’d be unloading turkeys all day,” Ralph says. “At the end of the day, we’d get food and then we’d walk home.”

On top of his seasonal volunteering, Ralph also used to donate his time at the local food pantry, where he cooked for their meals program. Unfortunately, Ralph’s Parkinson’s disease has made it difficult for him to get around recently, so he is unable to volunteer. And Michael is his father’s personal care assistant.

But Ralph and Michael, along with Michael’s 4-year-old daughter, Janie, did come by in the hopes of getting some supplies to make sure they have what they need to celebrate Thanksgiving together with a big meal.

Thank you for enabling families like Ralph’s to gather around a welcoming Thanksgiving meal!

“Holidays Are Important”

NeKhaiia loves caring for others, especially with a hot, nutritious meal.

It’s a legacy of kindness that’s been handed down from her grandmother, Ilka, who always makes sure friends and neighbors have somewhere to go for a welcoming meal on the holidays.

“It lets them know that they’re not forgotten about. That somebody is thinking about them, and that somebody really cares about them,” Ilka says. “Holidays are important to me because they are all about family and laughter.”

When 14-year-old NeKhaiia isn’t dancing or watching movies with her three younger siblings, she’s in the kitchen helping her grandmother make tasty meals for everyone. But ensuring Ilka has enough to feed her family isn’t always easy, especially with Thanksgiving fast approaching. That’s why she and NeKhaiia came to their local food pantry for help.

During their visit, they received a turkey, macaroni, greens, cornbread, and a few other traditional holiday fixings. This Thanksgiving, they will be able to feed all their loved ones — and remind them that they are cared for.

Ilka remembers past holiday seasons when getting supplies to feed her family was even harder. “I wasn’t always able to provide a turkey, have all the fixings and trimmings,” Ilka says. “I can remember wondering where we were going to get a holiday meal.”

Thanks to caring friends like you, Ilka and her family won’t have to worry about what they’ll serve their loved ones this holiday season. 

As a donor, your generosity is making the holidays even brighter for families like NeKhaiia and Ilka’s. Thank you!


“Sometimes It’s Too Much”

Natasha is hoping to make this Thanksgiving extra special since her daughter, Braeleigh, turns 2 the next day.

She wants the meal to include some Thanksgiving staples like pudding pie and jubilee, not to mention turkey and casseroles. Natasha is a medical assistant, but she isn’t able to work while raising her young daughter, which has made affording the basics difficult. That doesn’t leave much for the Thanksgiving feast Natasha dreams of.

So, she and Braeleigh came to the local holiday distribution, where Natasha got everything she needs to make a meal for her “chosen family,” a group of friends and their children. Like these groceries, this group of friends has helped this single mother get through difficult times.

“Just being just us, sometimes it’s too much,” Natasha says about working to stay afloat financially. “We have our own little family now.”

Now loaded up with food, Natasha knows she and her loved ones will be able to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal, and priceless time together.

Thank you for opening your heart and supporting families just like Natasha’s!

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