Thanksgiving is here! It’s our annual American celebration of appreciating what we have and sharing what we have with others. A mindset of abundance, generosity, and gratefulness is the key to making this day meaningful. There are so many ways to share what we have with others—whether it is furnishings, clothing, books, support for primary students and college education, even our bone marrow! But one of the most important things that we can share this Thanksgiving is a good meal. Food is a basic necessity of life, and unfortunately the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have worsened food insecurity for many people and families. Organizations like Feeding America help to supply food to one in seven Americans, but there is still more to do. A Place To Turn, a local emergency food pantry, is one such place for people in need.
The Boston Globe’s Local section had a front-page article in this Sunday’s paper: “‘Our emergency food system shouldn’t have to serve 40 percent of Massachusetts families’: As Thanksgiving approaches, the widespread need for food assistance the COVID-19 pandemic generated is showing few signs of diminishing.” The statistics are startling and disquieting: One in three Massachusetts adults experienced food insecurity in 2021, according to the Greater Boston Food Bank. This already shocking statistic is merely an average. Unfortunately, the numbers are even higher when one looks at specific groups of people. Over 60% of Latino adults in Massachusetts are food insecure; 53% of Black adults; and 51% of LGBTQ+ adults. Having children also makes you more likely to be food insecure, with 40 percent of adults in households with children experiencing food insecurity.
A Place To Turn has been serving the Natick, Massachusetts community since 1979. They maintain an updated donation request page on their website, and locals can drop off the requested items as well as other food bank staples on Monday mornings. The food bank distributes much needed food to the community four days a week, the mornings of Tuesday and Thursday and the afternoons of Monday and Wednesday. Even better than food donations are monetary donations (which are tax deductible!), because the food bank can purchase needed items at discounted prices thanks to strong working relationships with local grocery stores and the Greater Boston Food Bank.
This Thanksgiving, consider giving what you can to others to make sure that everyone has a good holiday meal!
Thank you, A Place To Turn, for making the world a better place!