Nov. 17 – Crowds of St. Joseph residents showed up Thursday to receive a hearty Thanksgiving dinner as part of the Second Harvest Community Food Bank’s 12th Annual Turkey Day.
Around 700 vouchers were distributed in the weeks leading up to the event. Cars lined up at the food bank and showed off these vouchers to receive a holiday meal with all the trimmings. They received a turkey, potatoes, produce and more to help them plan a Thanksgiving dinner.
Mackenzie Osborn, communications coordinator for Second Harvest, said that given the current state of the economy, she likes that Second Harvest can help people in difficulty.
“Turkey Day is really important to us because there are a lot of families in our community who we know couldn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner without it,” Osborn said. “So it’s really good for us to be able to provide that to those families. This year in particular, we’ve had a lot more calls than normal from families asking if we’re providing something for Thanksgiving. So I think that is going to be even more crucial than all the years we’ve done this before.”
Jamey McVicker, the city’s deputy fire chief, was volunteering with the St. Joseph Fire Department. He said firefighters are often only around community members in upsetting situations, so Thursday’s giveaway was a good opportunity for them to show their support in other ways.
“For us as firefighters, people…usually see us when they need us, which means there’s an emergency and they’re having a really bad day. So for them to see us here in a good time…we just want to give back,” McVicker said. “It’s just an event that brings everyone together and just that camaraderie with that spirit of the holidays.”
Mickayla Krumme, a volunteer with Stroud and Associates Real Estate, said she thought Turkey Day was a fantastic way for the community to come together.
“It’s a great opportunity to just help people,” Krumme said. “Some people aren’t as lucky as others, and it’s just a really good opportunity to go out and, you know, help people with whatever they need, especially food needs and things like that. So it’s fantastic. And we really love helping out and we love doing that every year.”
Second Harvest also distributed 500 turkeys and boxes in Leavenworth, Kansas, this week and will have another 150 in Chillicothe, Missouri on Nov. 20-22.
Osborn said the most beneficial part of Turkey Day is seeing the happiness of those who receive the meals.
“It’s great for me to be able to deliver anything because when people cross the line you can really see that they appreciate what we’re doing and it makes all the staff helping with that feel really good. “, says Osborn.