Community Unites to Provide a Happy Thanksgiving
Many Milton schools, churches and residents worked together to stock and distribute items for a proper holiday meal at the Milton Community Food Pantry.
The Milton Community Food Pantry, in the basement of Parkway United Methodist Church, was a bustling place on Friday, November 18. Volunteers, PTO members and Milton High football players hustled around the cramped corridors, separating canned goods, stacking pies and unloading fresh produce, all in preparation of Thanksgiving.
All of the work of preparing a perfect Thanksgiving kit needed to be done Friday as 185 families are expected to file through the pantry on Saturday to pick up their fixings, turkeys and usual grocery items.
The work being done Friday was only the end result of a community-wide effort, powered mainly by local schools, to gather items to provide a proper holiday meal for less-fortunate families in Milton.
“It’s great to be in a community that’s so caring and sharing,” said Milton Community Food Pantry Co-Director Pat Brawley.
The Milton Public Elementary Schools collected holiday essentials, which included canned items like gravy, corn, peas, fruit, cranberry sauce, stuffing, cake mix and frosting. Each grade at the four schools was tasked with gathering a different item, according to Brawley.
Once the items were collected, PTO members brought them to the pantry where volunteers boxed them up.
Milton High also held a drive for items. Those items, along with the Milton High football captains and five other senior players, came to the food pantry on Friday.
The football players helped unload fresh potatoes, onions, carrots and apples that were donated by Maharas and Lambert’s, and separated additional donations.
“It feels good to help,” said senior football player Casey Collier as he separated canned goods on Friday morning.
The Pierce Middle School students forego a Thanksgiving drive to help out the pantry in the often-forgotten winter months.
“It’s awesome that the schools recognize the importance,” said Brawley.
Thanks to the donations, each family will leave the pantry Saturday with a box of Thanksgiving non-perishables, five pounds of potatoes, three pounds of onions, a bag of carrots, a bag of onions, a pie and of course, a turkey or chicken.
Brawley said the families would also be given this week’s groceries on Saturday.
Collecting enough food to feed 185 families and then processing it all is a “mammoth task” according to Brawley that would be nearly impossible without community collaboration.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” Brawley said of the regular and seasonal volunteers.