BOSTON — Hundreds of volunteers joined United Way’s 20th Annual Thanksgiving Project at 20 locations throughout Greater Boston, the South Shore, North Shore and Merrimack Valley yesterday to distribute more than 200,000 pounds of food in over 11,000 individual Thanksgiving grocery packages. This year, the United Way has seen a significant increase in need, with 3500 more families requesting meals. The meals were distributed from 20 locations throughout Greater Boston and expanded this year to include additional distribution locations in New Hampshire.
Catholic Charities of Boston was the largest distribution partner. More than 2,600 meals were given out to families in need at the organization’s Yawkey Center in Dorchester, and an additional 1,750 meals were distributed from Catholic Charities sites in the South End, South Boston, Somerville and Lowell.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Cardinal Seán O’Malley joined United Way’s 20th Thanksgiving Project at the Catholic Charities Yawkey Center to help distribute meals on Saturday morning. Other large community distribution locations included those based out of Interfaith Social Services in Quincy, and Lynn Housing and Neighborhood Development in Lynn, who each distributed over 1,000 meals at the locations in their communities.
The 11,000 Thanksgiving bags from United Way include: onions, potatoes, canned corn, canned green beans, cornbread mix, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, rice, beans and an aluminum turkey pan. Families also received either a turkey, or a grocery gift card in their bags to purchase a turkey, depending on which site they picked up their meals.
Assembly and packing of the 11,000 meals kicked off on Tuesday, November 19th when food and supplies were delivered to the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center and continued through Friday, November 22. This year’s packing week included over 1,000 volunteers and support from Bank of America, UPS, Wegmans, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, WinnCompanies, Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, Vertex, SS&C, Eze Software, Mission Hill Post #327, Toast, Putnam, EF, Ropes & Gray, and Goodwin, among many others, and included a family night and a young professionals packing night.
Since the Thanksgiving Project began, United Way volunteers and partners have come together to provide nearly 50,000 Thanksgiving meal packages to local families in need. ###