THE MEANING OF THANKSGIVING
Community helps make holiday special for less fortunate families
“This is very meaningful to our families and I want to thank the community because we couldn’t do this without them.” — Melanie Weiler, executive director of Kennett Area Community Services
Thanksgiving will be much brighter for about 550 families living below the poverty line in southern Chester County.
On Saturday morning, about 20 volunteers helped to hand out turkeys to the families in front of the Kennett Area Food Cupboard, who were identified by county agencies including La Comunidad Hispana, Tick Tock Early Learning Center and the Kennett Senior Center as living in poverty. Some of the turkeys were home-delivered by volunteers because they have no means of transportation. The turkeys were donated by an anonymous benefactor.
“This is very meaningful to our families and I want to thank the community because we couldn’t do this without them,” said Melanie Weiler, executive director of Kennett Area Community Services. “Thanksgiving meals are estimated to cost (the families) about $50, so this really helps the families.”
Most of the recipients are clients of the Kennett Area Food Cupboard. The recipients are families living in the Avon Grove, Unionville-Chadds Ford and Kennett Consolidated school districts.
Jeff Smack, one of six volunteers from the Honor Bound
Motorcycle Ministry, said it’s important to help those in need, especially during the holidays.
“We need to help the community and be a part of the solution, not part of the problem,” he said. “It’s great to see people come through, and to see their response.”
Saturday also marked the second year that the Kennett Food Cupboard was one of the recipients of the Diwali Food Drive. Kennett Area Community Service, home of the Kennett Food Cupboard, received a total of 15,700 pounds of donated food from the drive, a much needed donation to fill the empty cupboard shelves.
The food drive honors the celebration of Diwali, an ancient Hindu “Festival of Lights” and emphasizes a strong tradition of giving back to the community. Ten communities in Chester County participated in the food drive, including The Reserve at Eagle Village, Whiteland Woods, and The Reserve at Chestnut Ridge.
Weiler said most of the donations to the Food Cupboard arrive in November, December and January.
In December, the Kennett Food Cupboard will continue the Christmas Basket Program, providing meals to families during the Christmas season. About 600 to 700 families will be served by more than 200 volunteers at the New Garden Maintenance Garage in Avondale. A holiday meal will be distributed along with coats, and toys for needy children, all donated from drives by local churches, service organizations and local residents. Each family in need will receive a timed ticket to receive their donations.
Dot Smrke prepares to hand out turkeys to needy families in southern Chester County Saturday morning.
Jeff Smack carries turkeys to be donated to needy families in southern Chester County Saturday morning.
Turkeys are distributed to needy families in southern Chester Saturday morning.