Filling Bags and Filling Needs: Another Successful Thanksgiving Project

Over 500 volunteers and donors came together to support the Thanksgiving Project this year to achieve one simple goal: Feed families this Thanksgiving.

Neighbors, co-workers, and families showed up during United Way’s 18th annual Thanksgiving Project – the largest collective initiative of its kind in the Greater Boston area. Together, we helped fill and distribute 6,500 bags of food totaling more than 150,000 pounds!

Feeding Families, Raising Awareness, and Driving Action

For families who regularly struggle to put food on the table, these bags mean more than just a celebratory Thanksgiving meal—they are filled with enough food to last a week so families can eat well without compromising their limited budget. Approximately 266,500 households in Massachusetts struggle with hunger and they often need to choose between buying food or paying for heat and shelter.

Each year, the Thanksgiving Project raises awareness and brings together the resources needed to feed families in our communities. This year, was unlike any other:

  • Employees from 25 local companies volunteered to fill grocery bags with Thanksgiving fixn’s
  • 50 young (and strong) professionals helped load 6,500 Thanksgiving bags onto trucks
  • Volunteers distributed Thanksgiving meals in 12 local communities to our grateful neighbors in need.
  • 144 people ranging in age from -1 to 60+ attended the Thanksgiving Project Family Night—up 22 percent from 2016

Distribution Day

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, volunteers from United Way and several sponsor agencies distributed food across Greater Boston. In Dorchester alone, more than 2,000 people lined up to receive their Thanksgiving meals.

“Dorchester’s really a neighborhood where if you’re earning minimum wage you’re really not making enough money to pay your rent, pay your utility bills, and have food for your family.” says Debbie Rambo, President of Boston Catholic Charities. “It’s really wonderful to be able to partner with United Way, Bank of America, and other sponsors to be able to provide this assistance today for Thanksgiving.”

Homegrown Generosity

This year, about 25,000 people will be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal because of United Way’s amazing volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We’d like to say a special thank you to the following companies for their incredible generosity:

  • Stop & Shop donated a large percentage of the food we distributed
  • UPS donated the delivery of 47 palettes of Stop & Shop food and transported 6,500 bags of food to 12 community distribution sites
  • Massachusetts Convention Center Authority donated their facility for us to house our entire staging area
  • Bank of America donated benevolent gift
  • Putnam Investments donated charitable contribution
  • UberEATS donated $1,000 in-kind gift to support our Thanksgiving Project volunteers to make deliveries to the elderly in our communities

View our Facbook photo album.

Watch the story on NBC Boston/NECN.

We can all make a difference in our community this holiday season. Support United Way on #GivingTuesday, November 28, and Women United will DOUBLE YOUR GIFT! Help us feed families today!