Right before thanksgiving break every year, ACES, the community service club on campus, holds their annual thanksgiving drive. They ask for any donations people are willing to make, whether that be money, or food. They also ask students to donate their meal swipes at the end of the week (the swipes that are left over, and won’t be used).
Once they have collected all the donations and the money, the presidents, Alex Donald ’19 and Lexie Axon ’19, and a few other members of the club go to Stop & Shop and buy food to donate. Since the goal is to make 100 full Thanksgiving meals for people who cannot afford them this season, they buy whatever is still needed after people donate food. The goal is to have 100 of each item -turkey, juice, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, beans, peas, cranberry sauce, gravy, dinner rolls, pie crust and pie filling. The workers at Stop & Shop are extremely helpful in this process, since there is so much food to buy. This season, we wound up filling 9 carts full of food, and the workers helped us take it all to the front, check it all out and were even willing to store some of it in the back, so we could come back the next day.
Once all the food has been brought to the community service office, the presidents ask the members to spend just 30 minutes to an hour at the community service office on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The more members that come the more efficient the process, because the office is set up so that the members can make a chain and pack each of the bags efficiently and with all the ingredients. Trader Joe’s donates 200 bags so that each family can get a double bagged meal, since it is very heavy. Once all the bags are packed, the presidents, and their advisor, Joe Barber, take the bags to Hands on Hartford so that they can be donated to families without the means of providing their own Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday.