Giving thanks at the Red Cross this Thanksgiving
American Red Cross volunteers at locations in Boston and New Bedford were able to get 100,000 pounds of emergency groceries in the hands of the hungry this week – in time to make sure their Thanksgiving tables and their refrigerators were full with the bounty of the season.
Collectively, almost 300 volunteers handed out almost 100,000 pounds of food – including (fixings) lots of fruit, vegetables, non-perishables, whole chickens, turkey roasts, and 12-18 pound whole turkeys—to 4039 families, or about 9300 individuals.
In Boston, we distributed to 1130 families on Nov. 20, 1363 families on Saturday Nov. 23, and Nov. 27 we distributed to 316 families for a total of 2809 families.
In New Bedford, we distributed turkeys to 233 families on Thursday Nov. 7, 384 families on Thursday Nov. 14, and 507 families (all time record) for a total of 1130 families.
Our Food & Nutrition Mobile Market distributed on Monday Nov. 25 to 100 families at Hanscom Air Force base.
Notable was the fact that we served a record number of families without two-hour long waits outside our Boston food pantry On Nov. 23, usually our biggest day of the year. That’s due to some innovation at the Red Cross. Volunteer Aditya Joshi said "I wanted to help” erase the long lines outside so, working with Food and Nutrition Director David Andre, he created an app to help securely scan in client information in seconds, so those facing hunger also didn’t face a long wait.
Also a record is the amount of food volunteers quickly moved into the hands of those who needed it. In all 2,000 turkeys, 11,000 pounds of onions, 10,000 pounds of carrots, 5,000 pounds of apples – several trucks’ worth of food were packed into bags for families needing five days of emergency groceries this past week. Dozens of “runners” like mother and daughter Stephanie and Sydney Kasok lined up to take the heavy bags and 18 pound turkeys outside to waiting cars or personal shopping carts. In all, 45,000 pounds of food was handed out Nov. 23 – many more thousands of pounds of food were given to families seeking the Red Cross’ help this week.
We know in the fight against hunger, Thanksgiving is but a day for the Red Cross to meet the emergency needs of those in our community. Last year we saw 11,538 families at our locations in Boston and New Bedford. And so as we prepare our tables this holiday, we thank you for supporting the work of the staff and volunteers of the American Red Cross in Massachusetts.