On Thanksgiving and Christmas, my parents always took my brother and me to my grandparents’ house for a big family meal with my aunts and cousins.
Looking back, I suppose I took those holiday gatherings for granted. I always knew that giant spread of food would be there.
I was fortunate in that every year, my family could provide a large turkey or ham, complete with the side dishes that were a tradition in our family – stuffing, sweet potatoes with the little marshmallows melted on top, and homemade mashed potatoes.
For so many children in the families served by the St. Louis Area Foodbank, there is no guaranteed holiday meal. These children cannot be sure there will be enough food in the house on a daily basis, and holidays are no exception.
As the holidays roll around, we here at the Foodbank do what we can to ensure that at the very least, families in need have a good meal. We distribute holiday chickens to as many families as possible, and try to provide the foods that help make a traditional holiday meal.
At this time of year, many of us wonder what we can do to help our fellow man. We welcome volunteers here at the Foodbank five days a week, and encourage anyone who wants to help to host a food drive.
If you’re looking for a way to feed families in need, here are some suggested items that are great to donate around the holidays. After all, every child deserves a holiday full of good memories.
• Boxed stuffing
• Macaroni and cheese
• Canned vegetables such as green beans, carrots and yams
• Pie fillings
• Pie crusts – nonrefrigerated
• Canned meats like chicken or tuna
• Canned gravy
• Boxed mashed potatoes
• Boxed scalloped potatoes
• Rice mixes
• Cookie mixes
• Muffin mixes
If a family or individual wants to donate a fresh or frozen turkey or ham, or other perishable items, the Foodbank will accept them here at our facility at 70 Corporate Woods Drive in Bridgeton. From here, they will be distributed to families in need.
Bethany Prange is the communications coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank
Casey Milton is the product donations coordinator at the St. Louis Area Foodbank