The following story appeared in the November 4 Idaho Catholic Register.
By Johnny Hiller
For the Idaho Catholic Register
Each year, St. Vincent de Paul of Southwest Idaho sponsors the Thanksgiving Food Box Program so the less fortunate and their families can have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It is a wonderful program in which families from all over Ada County share in the true meaning of Thanksgiving by pre-paring and distributing Thanksgiving Food Boxes to families in need.
Each box includes a 10-pound turkey, potatoes, a roasting pan and all the trimmings. Last year, more than 11,000 adults and children received the gift of a Thanksgiving dinner. As inflation has driven up the cost of living for the poor, it is likely that there will be an even greater demand this year.
This program is a success because of the commitment of time and energy of countless families and volunteers. There are many ways for those who wish to contribute.
Your family can shop for, assemble, and donate a complete Thanksgiving Box as thousands of families did last year. Register to assemble a box at svdpid.org/thanksgiving-box-how-to-donate/.
Also, several parishes and other participating churches will be offering an opportunity to sign up to donate a box. Officially-sized boxes will be distributed at participating Ada County Catholic churches the weekends of Nov. 5-6 and Nov. 12-13. A complete list of all participating churches is found on the above website. Boxes can also be picked up at any St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Ada County.
Once registered you will receive a copy of the Thanksgiving Food Box shopping list and information explaining where to return the completed box. Buying the turkey and fixings will cost about $70 per box.
If you would prefer not to assemble a box, you can make a financial donation to St. Vincent de Paul Southwest Idaho to help support cost of running the program.
Finally, you can volunteer to help collect food, assemble the Thanksgiving Boxes and distribute them. Last year hundreds of volunteers gave more than 2,200 hours of their time to bring Thanksgiving to needy families.
While St Vincent de Paul works with the Boise and West Ada school districts to provide Thanksgiving to the district’s poorest families, the program is open to all in need. Those who would like to receive a box must register by Nov. 17 at any St. Vincent de Paul thrift store, or at Holy Apostles, Sacred Heart or Risen Christ churches. You can also register to receive a box online at svdpid.org/receive-a-box/
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