Last Thanksgiving, 76 Mad River Valley Thanksgiving baskets were assembled and delivered to families and individuals in need. Over 300 people were provided with a free Thanksgiving meal thanks to the generosity of the Mad River Valley community and volunteers.
“We aren’t sure, but the need might be even greater this year,” said Judy Beningson, project coordinator. “We know that COVID has put an increased burden on families, in terms of both finances and time, so we are getting ready to help even more families this year.”
The program works in two ways. Food and cash donations are collected and volunteers package Thanksgiving food. Families and individuals in need throughout The Valley, covering Moretown, Waitsfield, Warren and Fayston, let organizers know they would like a basket. The baskets include all the ingredients they will need for a Thanksgiving meal: turkey, vegetables, bread, fruit, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce and pie. The whole meal is free of charge.
“Help from the community is critical, annual sponsors have already donated turkeys and local businesses helping to buy and store turkeys. And The Valley Reporter office is a food collection site,” she added. There will also be a collection box in the foyer of the East Warren Community Market.
The program is sponsored by the Mad River Interfaith Council who ensures organizers have the donations and volunteers needed to make this tradition continue.
For folks who want to receive Thanksgiving baskets, there are forms available through local pastors, the school nurses in Warren, Waitsfield, Moretown and Fayston, at the Mad River Valley Food Shelf or by calling or emailing the Mad River Community Fund. The baskets will be packed and delivered on November 23.
On November 13, Bourne’s will hold a turkey drive in the parking lot by The Sweet Spot in the Bridge Street Marketplace. They will have a tent set up to collect food, checks or cash and frozen turkeys.
This year, many things stay the same and a few changes are put in place for COVID. Volunteers who want to help pack food can sign up at the link below
Those who want to donate are asked to buy food from the list below or send checks to the Mad River Interfaith Council at P.O. Box 342, Waitsfield, VT 05673. Food and check donations can be also dropped at The Valley Reporter’s new office on the Slow Road next to Sportive or use the Paypal link at: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=W9YNSWQCQCP6C&source=url
Here are the foods that are needed:
- Apple sauce (20-25 oz.)
- Biscuit mix (box)
- Brownie mix (box)
- Canned fruit (13-15 oz. can)
- Canned vegetables (14-16 oz. cans: corn, peas or green beans)
- Crackers (8-12 oz. box)
- Cranberry sauce (14 oz. can)
- Gravy (1 can/bottle)
- Onions (1-2)
- Peanut Butter (16-20 oz.jar)
- Stuffing (1 box/bag)
- Tuna (9-12 oz. can)