Thursday, October 17, 2013

Give Your Neighbor a "White House Turkey"

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By Saba Aregai
Contributing Writer

What is your Thanksgiving budget this year?

On average an American family will spend $50 for a Thanksgiving dinner this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. For some families, that money could fill up their tank to get to work for a week. It could buy their kids new winter coats. It might be their food fund for an entire month.

Our SHARE Food Network helps make high-quality food more accessible to everyone all year round. By ordering in bulk, they are able to offer exceptional menu options at steep discounts, then distribute the food en masse thanks to volunteer-run host sites located in neighborhoods through the District, Maryland and Virginia.

At Thanksgiving in particular, more people turn to SHARE to help put a special meal on their own holiday table – and to donate a meal to a family really struggling at this time of year.

“At Thanksgiving we experience this surge of generosity in the community,” said Jaynee Acevedo, Director of SHARE.  “People see SHARE as the logical choice for their donations – their gift is almost doubled in value.”

Paul Applah is a regular volunteer at SHARE!
For just $30, you can purchase a full festive dinner for your family, or for a family in need, including a grain-fed, antibiotic-free turkey from Jaindl’s Turkey Farms. This is the same turkey served at the White House Thanksgiving dinner. All the fixings and dessert are also included. For $39, you can purchase a turkey plus stock up a family's pantry, or your own, with other basic essentials like meats and fish, fruits and vegetables.

“People need to eat every month, every week, every day,” said Jaynee. “SHARE is not just about the holidays. We bring the freshest, most high-quality foods to our customers every month of the year. This Thanksgiving, our Jaindl’s turkey is helping people give, and buy for themselves, a bird of far higher quality than you could find in most stores.”

Donated food packages are distributed to families whom host site coordinators identify in their parish or community. “Many times our host site coordinators just tell families they know are in need that they have over-ordered, or that they have a few extra. This way, it is truly a gift,” said Jaynee. It’s a great way for families, businesses, schools, and organizations to share their blessings during the season.

In addition to donated food packages, SHARE’s efforts count on a network of 300 volunteers to ensure the food gets bagged, packed, and distributed. Dorothy Pope, a dedicated volunteer from Carmody Hills Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland, said the experience, especially around the holidays, is very rewarding. “The fact that you know you are helping families to be fed nutritiously, it just makes it worthwhile.”

Feed a family this Thanksgiving by making a donation online! You can also view SHARE’s holiday menus here and order directly from a host site in your neighborhood.