NEW BRITAIN - The Salvation Army and the Friendship Service Center could use donations of non-perishable food and cash to provide hundreds of residents with a warm Thanksgiving meal or a holiday meal they can make on their own.
The Friendship Center at 241 Arch St. is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 11:45 a.m. for anyone who needs a meal. On the menu will be turkey, stuffing, gravy, vegetables and pie and a chance to have a holiday meal with others, said the center’s Director of Communications and Development Barbara Lazarski.
The center is planning on feeding about 250 people and could use donations of non-perishable food items or cash. Items such as cranberry sauce, packaged stuffing mix, packaged potatoes, canned vegetables, or desserts are welcome. To donate cash or non-perishable food, either drop off the items at 241 Arch St. in the days before the lunch or call kitchen director Gerry Waldo at 860-225-0211.
The Salvation Army is hosting a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner on Thursday, Nov. 24, at 11 a.m. at the New Britain Senior Center at 55 Pearl St. The meal is open to anyone. They are expecting about 200 people to attend. The Salvation Army could use cash donations or donations of non-perishable food items such as vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce and other items to help host the meal.
Donations of cash are appreciated so that the organizations can pick up any items they may need at the last minute to round out the meal, said Salvation Army Capt. Larry Goodman.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer can call 860-225-8491. Donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army at 78 Franklin Square.
Like the Friendship Center, the Salvation Army is also providing 200 families with all the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner. They will need non-perishable items such as gravy packets or jars, packaged stuffing, canned vegetables and other items that will allow the families to make their own holiday meal. Cash donations are also needed.
Donations must be dropped off at the Salvation Army by Tuesday to give the Salvation Army time to organize and package the meals.
The Friendship Center is also seeking businesses, civic organizations, or individuals to “adopt a family” to help provide Thanksgiving meal baskets to over 80 families or individuals who are living in permanent supportive housing. Many of the families or individuals have just transitioned from living in the center’s emergency shelter or on the streets, Lazarski said.
“They are low income and it’s very difficult for them to stretch their food budget for a holiday meal,” she said. “With a Thanksgiving food basket, they can prepare their own meal and maybe have their family over and they won’t have to use their food budget.”
To adopt a family to provide a Thanksgiving basket, contact Lazarski at 860-225-0211, ext. 202.
The list of suggested items for the basket includes canned corn, green beans, yams or sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, chicken broth, gravy, fruit pie filling and a large can of juice.
Other items include a box of macaroni, or boxed macaroni and cheese, a five-pound bag of potatoes, a package of rice, a package of corn bread, two, six ounce packages of stuffing, a package of rolls, a small box of tea bags, a graham cracker pie crust, evaporated milk, a can of coffee, seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, pasta sauce, a can of kidney beans or pigeon peas, snack foods such as crackers, soups, all varieties but especially cream of chicken or cream of mushroom and a $25 gift card to either Stop & Shop, PriceRite or C-Town for meat and other perishables.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.