United Way
of Massachusetts Bay
and Merrimack Valley

Thanksgiving Project

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Sometimes a fresh meal and a friendly smile can be the difference between hope and hopelessness.

United Way’s Thanksgiving Project provides over 6,500 families with the full ingredients needed for a Thanksgiving celebration. As food costs continue to rise and the demand for assistance remains high, local corporations and volunteers continue to step forward to donate food, funding, and their own time to help feed more families and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this holiday meal with their loved ones.

Participants embody the warmth of the season and serve as examples in the community of what it truly means to LIVE UNITED.

Impact of United Way and the Thanksgiving Project

  • Since 2009, the Thanksgiving Project has grown to support over 6,500 families each year – that’s well over 25,000 people annually!
  • Companies all over Eastern Massachusetts run drives for everything from turkey-gift-cards, stuffing, to aluminum trays. Combined with the pallets of food generously donated by Stop & Shop, it adds up to more than 150,000 pounds of food.
  • The week before Thanksgiving, over 500 volunteers put their muscles to work by packaging food into individual Thanksgiving grocery bags and loading them onto UPS trucks for delivery.
  • Distribution takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving in 10 different communities through United Way’s partners, including regional nonprofits like Catholic Charities, Interfaith Social Services, Lynn Housing Authority, Randolph High School, Lawrence Community Works, Weymouth Food Pantry, and more.

How You Can Get Involved:

  • Sponsor a family’s meal by donating directly to the project. As food costs continue to rise, funding remains our most critical need.
  • Host a Friendsgiving either at the office potluck or at home but make it count by sponsoring a local family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Set a goal for the number of families you would like to support – each meal costs only $50.
  • Run an item drive or visit our Amazon Pantry Wish-List to help supply the food needed for each grocery bag. All item drives must be completed and delivered by Monday, November 13, 2017.
  • Volunteer as a group by sponsoring a packing slot during the week of November 14-17.
  • Join the movement by following @unitedwaymassbay on social media and sharing what you are most grateful for. Don’t forget to tag #UWthanksgiving #LiveUnited and @unitedwaymassbay!

To learn more, please contact Ilana Smith at ismith@unitedwaymassbay.org or 617-624-8203.