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Oct 29, 2012 09:23 PM

Help supply a food bank for Thanksgiving

We support our local food bank year 'round, but T'day is special.

I'd like to donate two complete meals this year. Hell, I'd like to donate 12, and will try hard to do more than two.

The food bank building has multiple refrigerators and freezers. We will buy at least two turkeys, using chain "spend $XX and get the turkey for '$x.'" [or for free. It happens here sometimes.] We figure we can also buy a couple of turkey breasts.

I hope that none of you ever have to do this, but if you were forced to use a food bank for this holiday meal, what would you want to be able to select?

I've got ideas, but would love to read what others think.


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  1. Pumpkin pie and whipped cream.

    1 Reply
    1. re: blue room


      And dang it, I probably posted this in the wrong place. It will most likely get moved. Apologies. ...

    2. I'd want the protein and the pie.

      Mashed potatoes, green beans, even if I was in a tough place, I could handle that.

      But a turkey? A pumpkin or pecan pie? Those would make me very happy.

      I am lucky that I am employed (mostly!) a good cook in a big city, with great sales. If I can make the time, the world is mine. But many folks don't have that option.

      So go by Dickens - get the goose! Or turkey, as it may be. : )

      And God bless us all, every one.

      1. Here are some of the basics that came to me:

        Stuffing mix
        Bag of potatoes
        Frozen green beans
        cream of mushroom soup
        Durkee onions
        Canned cranberry sauce
        Sweet potatoes
        pumpkin or applie pie

        1. IMO giving a whole turkey is a bad idea, it is WAY TOO BIG and will lead to a lot of food loss at the end.

          If you really want to give a whole turkey, try to look for "Soup kitchen" where they will use the whole turkey to prepare food for homeless people (or low income elderly people).

          Never forget non-food stuff....

          Toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, "feminine hygiene" products, ...

          5 Replies
          1. re: Maximilien

            Maximilien, thanks. This food bank is for distribution only. Several local churches combine to 'do Thanksgiving' for those who wish to eat it at our community center.

            Non-food is such a good idea. We do that a couple of times a year. It's really important!

            1. re: Maximilien

              At the homeless shelter I volunteered at years ago, they'd have so many donated turkeys that they'd send them and other t-giving supplies to families who'd left the shelter but were still in transition, if they wanted them. Many of them had large families, and extended families or groups of friends that would come together to help cook, eat, and divvy out the leftovers.

              The shelter would keep as many as they had reasonable space for to use throughout the year, to supplement what was sent from local businesses and the food bank.

              1. re: Maximilien

                I love that idea Max.
                how smart is that.
                just think of a mommy finding a shimmer vanilla bean scented lotion in the bag or a marrow bone from the butcher for family dog or a small bag of household items that a family may need like crazy glue, scotch tape and a box of all purpose greeting cards or a supply of Kates Muesli portioned out for a quick breakfast idea for kids on the go. thanks for the idea ((smart cookie))

                1. re: Maximilien

                  We just finished a mega road trip, with waaaaay too many hotel stays. I always take the tiny shampoo/conditioner/moisturizer bottles 'cause I give 'em to our local shelter, who says they're much appreciated by their clients. When I give food, I remember my poor married student days, and along with brand name food (we bought the cheapest generic stuff we could find), also include some foil/plastic wrap/waxed paper. I also always buy a few boxes of cake mix and cans of frosting--not exactly the from-scratch that I make at home, but I remember longingly craving them when we were broke newlywed students.

                  1. re: Maximilien

                    My dad donates 10-20 turkeys to a church that helped his dad out and helps the elderly. All I know is they are THRILLED to have the whole turkeys. I highly doubt many of the old folks out there getting his donated turkeys are letting any part of that bird go to waste. Most of the old people I know will make a ton of meals out of that one turkey.

                  2. Ask the food bank what thier clients need/want. My local food bank almost always wants money over food. They can get $8 worth of food for every $1 donated, and would rather do the shopping themselves. One of the few exceptions is freebie food from grocery store. Most storesnhere give away Thanksgiving in a box with enough weekly purchases. The stores give the option to donate the food, and since you can't get cheaper than free, the food bank loves those donations.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mpjmph

                      Full agreement. Money is best as the buying power of the food bank can really pay off. I understand that sometimes people don't think that they are doing anything if they don't go and select food to give but I believe if more people understood the buying power of these organizations that they would have a change of feelings.

                      If you want to give food to a family then you might want to check through organizations that allow you to "adopt" a family for Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can make up a box that goes directly to a family, complete with gifts. If you want to give to a food bank though I would say money only.

                      1. re: Astur

                        You both are correct, and a monetary donation is included.

                        1. re: Astur

                          When we did the Adopt a Family for Christmas one year, I asked and received the 1st names of each family member; along with the needed items they requested, I handmade personalized Christmas stockings, stuffed with un-needed but fun items. I think I had more fun than them, just visualizing them finding something truly personal.