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Last Updated on February 6, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
With the onset of fall comes planning for the upcoming holidays. In our house, holidays have always revolved around food and family. Cooking together, baking some of our favorite cookies, and gathering around the table for a big meal. We're lucky...we can afford to buy good food that includes a lot of fresh, local and organic ingredients. I know there are a lot of families that just struggle to put food on their tables and holidays are even more difficult. I want my children to grow up knowing how blessed we are but also knowing that it is our responsibility to care for those less fortunate. Getting your kids involved in a service project that helps the less fortunate is a good way to instill compassion and understanding in our kids. When our church decided to participate in a Thanksgiving Service Project to help feed the poor, I decided I needed to get my kids involved, too.
The purpose of our church's service project is to put together a Thanksgiving Box to feed the hungry. This box will contain a non perishable Thanksgiving meal for one family. Our donations to the food co-op are being matched financially by our church so it is a great project to help stock the food co-op for the holidays. We spent about $40 on these donations so you don't have to break the bank to get involved! Here are the items that we put together for our service project to provide a Thanksgiving meal box to the food pantry:
- Once can of Turkey SPAM
- One (1 pound) canned cam
- One ox of Turkey stuffing
- Two cans of green beans
- One can of cream of mushroom soup
- One can French fried onion rings
- One can of cranberry sauce
- Two cans of candied yams
- One package of mini marshmallows
- One can of turkey gravy
- One box instant mashed potatoes
- One box of baking mix
- One can of fruit pie filling
- One jar of pickles or olives
- One quart of shelf stable milk
- One small bag of sugar
- One small package of napkins
- One can opener (optional)
My family doesn't usually eat a lot of canned or boxed foods and my kids questioned me about why we were donating such items to the food pantry instead of buying the same kind of fresh foods that we eat. I tried to explain to them that food pantries don't have a lot of space to store fresh ingredients and that they may go bad before being donated to a family to eat. I told them that if I had the option of feeding my kids canned food or letting them go to be hungry, I would take the canned food in a heartbeat. While I love the farm to pantry options that are becoming more popular nowadays, I know they aren't always available or convenient.
Now that our Thanksgiving in a Box service project is put together, we will be bringing our donation to church this weekend and donating it to the food bank. I hope that it makes someone's holiday a little brighter and allows for one less thing to worry about this season.
Of course, on the way home my kids complained about how come their friends all had iPhones and they didn't...<sigh> I'm really not sure that our service project really got the point across about how there are starving people in this world who can't even afford FOOD much less iPhones.
I think I have a lot more service projects I need to get them involved in. If you would like a few more ideas on how to get your kids involved check out these service project ideas on Pinterest.
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.