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Food Pantry Getting Ready for the Holiday; Turkeys Wanted

Next Tuesday Branford High School students will assemble with more than 20 volunteers to deliver hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners to families throughout town. Here’s how you can help:

Branford Food Pantry President Wendy Cowles is getting ready for the holiday season, which entails the preparation of hundreds of meals for Branford families. Unlike the Community Dining Room who prepares a Thanksgiving feast (read more about their dinner here), the Food Pantry gives raw ingredients (see list below) to resident to prepare their own meals in their homes with their families for the holidays.

Every year, Branford High School students team up with drivers and deliver about 200 boxes of food and turkeys to local families for Thanksgiving dinner; about 50 families also pick-up their dinners at the pantry themselves. Today is the last day to request a dinner from the Pantry; to do so call 203-481-3663

Cowles said the pantry is still in need of turkeys to help complete their meals. Drop off times for donations are below.

Last year the Pantry completed about 250 meals for families for Thanksgiving and lucked out when a joint effort from area churches yielded more than 200 turkeys to make sure every family received one. The year prior, the Pantry ran out of turkeys and some families got ham instead. 

In total, the Pantry collected about 700 turkeys last year for families, which were distributed between Thanksgiving, Christmas and throughout the rest of the year – frozen turkey has about a one-year shelf life.

Year-round the Pantry helps to feed about 154 families per month (462 people) and more than 247 families per year. Every month, more than 18,150 pounds of food is given out and over the year, nearly 218,000 pounds, including 4,470 dozen eggs are distributed. 

The estimated expense budget of the Food Pantry is $56,500 for FY 2012-13.

Turkeys Drop Off Times

(30 Harrison Avenue, Branford; basement) 

Friday: 8 to 11 a.m.

Saturday:  2 to 3 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Monday: 8 to 11 a.m. 

Turkeys at Stop & Shop are about $1.49 per pound with an average size of 12 to 14 pounds for a holiday bird. The first turkey is on sale for .59 cents per pound when you spend $25. Frozen Stop & Shop brand is $1.19 per pound.

Big Y turkeys are $1.19 for Big Y frozen and $1.49 for Butterball frozen; fresh butterball is $1.69 per pound. Turkeys are 12 to 18 pounds. Big Y offers a one-time-use $7 coupon for turkey.  

Thanksgiving Meal

1 turkey
5 lbs potatoes
2 lbs carrots
3 lbs onions
3 lbs apples
1 lb margarine
1 frozen OJ 
2 cans of vegetable
2 boxes of Jello
1 can of cranberry sauce
1 package of pie filling and crust
1 can of coffee

Wendy Cowles November 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Thanks so much for your great article. I hope we can help all the families who need it.
Nicole Ball November 16, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Wendy, you are so welcome! :)
celia November 16, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Wendy, Are you still needing volunteers? Our family would love to come over and help decorate or serve during the dinner, etc. Or even clean up. Let us know!
Nicole Ball November 16, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Hi Celia. The Pantry assembles boxes for home-delivery; the Community Dining Room serves the holiday meal. You should call them: Community Dining Room 30 Harrison Ave, Branford, CT 203-488-9750; Kitchen: 203-488-0447

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