Thanksgiving is a busy season at the Storehouse. That’s a fact every year. Many families who experience hunger simply try to get by on their own most of the year. However, when it comes to Thanksgiving, a holiday built around a meal, they turn to the Storehouse to make that meal possible for their families. We have heard lovely stories about how we make Thanksgiving possible for people in need. Smiles abound on the day we get to pass out turkeys. Of course, we also hear about the struggles to get by and needing food so they can help with a larger family feast, or to gather with friends. After all, you can’t attend a potluck if you don’t have food to bring. This is Thanksgiving at the Storehouse.
Thanksgiving 2022 Stats
In the week leading up to Thanksgiving the Storehouse provided 600 turkeys for individuals and families who came to the pantry. Of course, we also handed out other holiday meal items that round out the traditional Thanksgiving meal. People were happy to receive potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pies, and more.
The count of clients who came to the pantry definitely increased substantially the week of Thanksgiving. In 2022, an average distribution day would include about 167 households. Thanksgiving week the Storehouse supported 234 households. A huge 40% increase. While the Storehouse has seen a steady uptick in clients this fall, those were larger numbers than we expected for the holiday.
Volunteers Make Thanksgiving Possible at the Pantry
Volunteers are appreciated all year long at the pantry, but Thanksgiving is a whole other level of need. The Storehouse is a busy place during the holidays. More clients count on us. More organizations and businesses host food drives. That means we need more volunteers to sort food and help us hand it out. The great news is that so many volunteers joined our staff to prepare food boxes and hand out Thanksgiving groceries this year.
First, the Storehouse wants to recognize the steady volunteers who are with us throughout the year. They not only help with the holidays, they help us model the work of the pantry and even train new volunteers what to do. Second, student groups were a big part of our support system this year. Amy Biehl High School came to the pantry to volunteer in November. Two groups from UNM did, too! DV8 UNM, a student-led religious club, helped with sorting and packing and on a separate day the UNM Women’s Softball team pitched in. Third, corporate groups joined us for team building and pantry support. Our board chair Nathan brought his group from Intel and set new records for pallets of boxes packed.
These are just a few examples of the many volunteers who supported the Storehouse this November.
Holidays without Hunger
Our focus this fall and through the end of the year has been to provide holidays without hunger for local families. Kevin Cochran, our operations manager explained it well. “Thanksgiving is a time to share the joy of a special meal with your family and loved ones, so it’s important to me that we can help hundreds of our neighbors who may have found it difficult or impossible to celebrate without the food support the Storehouse provides.”
If you were a part of our Thanksgiving through volunteering, a financial gift, or participation in the Peak Thanksgiving Food Drive we appreciate you. As we wrap up the year, if you want to help us finish 2022 strong and make our dream of ‘Holidays Without Hunger’ a reality, donate today.