Groceries for 141 Thanksgiving meals were packaged in just 20 minutes by Washington community members at Fareway on Sunday, Nov. 18.
The groceries were purchased by donations received by the Washington Community School District. Principals and counselors in the district created a list of deserving families the meals will go to, said Angela Taylor, special education teacher in the district.
A few dozen people from the Kiwanis Aktion Club, Fareway employees and staff from the school district arrived at the closed store at 5 p.m. Sunday to pick up a brown sack and walk through an assembly line to fill it up.
The Kiwanis Akction Club is an organization for disabled adults who are trying to find ways to serve the community. Aktion Club leader Dave Hoffman said the Aktion Club will be seen around Washington this holiday season bell ringing for the Salvation Army and doing other activities to serve the community.
The meals have been a project of the district since 2004 in honor of American Education Week, Taylor said.
“We wanted to do something to give back to the community we work in,” Taylor said.
The list of deserving families is created before fundraising for the Thanksgiving meals is done. Taylor said this year they were 11 meals short and it came down to “which names do you cut?” Taylor said.
At the last minute, however, a para educator at the high school found out that the school was short donations and donated the money for the last 11 meals.
It was a miracle story, Taylor said with gratefulness.
Fareway store manager Dave Waite said the Thanksgiving meals are the necessities: potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie mix.
“They’ve done a fine job of coordinating that and putting it together,” Waite said.