Over 700 Thanksgiving meals were provided this year for community members in need through the efforts of Albertsons and the Council of Community Services, who partnered with the Campbell County Senior Center, St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, and one local elementary school for ensure meals reached the needy.
According to Albertsons Store Manager David Diamond, customers provided around 733 Thanksgiving meals by purchasing $1, $5, and $10 worth of Turkey Bucks since the program began in late October. As of yesterday evening, Diamond said that $46,411 in funds were raised to provide holiday meals for families.
“The program is very beneficial,” Diamond noted. “It helps us make sure that every family in Gillette has a chance to have a Thanksgiving meal.”
He added that customers can now purchase Santa Bucks program now through Dec. 24 to provide ham Christmas dinners to local families in need.
Council of Community Services (CCS) Development Coordinator Alena Gronewolz said that meal programs like this can be a huge stress relief for many local people in need as there is no cost or requirements for receiving meals.
“The community support provided is the most astounding thing,” Gronewolz said.
She added that Giving Tuesday, which is tomorrow, is an easy way to give back by making donations to local Gillette organizations. Another way, Gronewolz added, is to donate items to several local upcoming food and toy drives. She further said that the annual ERA Priority Real Estate’s competitive school food drive brings in many pounds of food each year.
So far this year, CCS has helped 653 different Campbell County households in need, including 241 Thanksgiving meals that went out last week. Last year, the pantry program served 1,251 county households and provided 340 Thanksgiving meals and 558 Christmas baskets to those who would not otherwise have had holiday meals.
Gronewolz said that community members in need for Christmas meals or other assistance are welcome to reach out to the council.