The holidays are practically here! What do you have to do to prepare? Make a holiday shopping list? Solidify travel arrangements to visit loved ones? Look up recipes to create the perfect meal? These items are common on holiday to-do lists. However, these items are also common:
- Save money to make sure that my loved ones get a holiday meal.
- Skip a meal this week so we can afford to buy a turkey.
- Skip a trip to the doctor so we can have traditional sides.
In the busy bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to take food and giving for granted. However, it is important to remember that for some families, the ability to have presents and a big dinner is still a question.
Ten years ago, Hays County Food Bank decided to relieve some of the pressures of finding resources for a traditional holiday dinner by starting Turkeys Tackling Hunger. Since then, volunteers, staff, sponsors, and donors have come together every fall to stuff holiday meal boxes and hand them out to households who may otherwise go without.
Each household receives one frozen turkey (except for 2015 when the avian flu hit and ham was more widely available) and traditional sides. What started out as a small operation, where boxes were built right out of the food bank warehouse, has since grown. Last year, over 3,000 holiday meal boxes were constructed at Night Hawk Frozen Foods, Inc. in Buda, Texas. We anticipate distributing a similar number this year. These meals go to a variety of Hays County residents – those who have suffered a job loss, a disaster, a medical emergency, or are living on a fixed income that just isn’t quite enough. For some recipients, a holiday meal box is a sparkle of hope. It is the one luxury that they can count on during the holidays. It empowers them because it allows them to cook a delicious meal from home, where their loved ones can gather together and be thankful for what they do have.
We are overjoyed that Turkeys Tackling Hunger has become such a well-known tradition in our community. Not only do the families who receive a holiday meal box benefit, but so does everyone who participates in raising food and funds. It is fantastic to live in a community where neighbors help neighbors during difficult times. When we work together to spread love, cheer, and compassion, our community becomes a better place to live. It is not too late if you would like to participate in the campaign. Please click here for more information. Hays County Food Bank thanks YOU for all of your support of Turkeys Tackling Hunger! We could not do it without you!