This week, Thanksgiving is upon us and many of us are preparing to leave town to enjoy the holiday with family, while others may be putting the finishing touches on their menus in anticipation of hosting the feast for the first (or fifth) time. Between curling up and watching football, and braving the crowds to score a Black Friday deal, we will pause to recognize all we have to be thankful for.
Not everyone in the Twin Cities is fortunate enough to have an abundance of food, or food at all, this holiday season, but for those of us who do, it’s a great time to give back. There are an abundance of volunteer opportunities available. One of the ways the Junior League of Minneapolis works to address the achievement gap is by providing food to children through the Backpack Buddies program, since it is easier to focus on learning when not focusing on being hungry. If you are still looking for a way to give back this week, and help families in the process, the options below are just a sampling of opportunities available to help provide food for families in need:
Neighbors, Inc. provides emergency assistance programs to low-income families in and around St. Paul. They have a list of food items you can donate, and are also looking for volunteers for holiday-related tasks.
NorthPoint is seeking volunteers to help distribute frozen turkeys and side dishes to families in north Minneapolis.
If you would like to negate a few of those Thanksgiving calories, here are some charitable races that focus on collecting food for people in need:
Participants in this downtown Minneapolis 5k are asked to bring as many non-perishable items as they can carry to help stock local food pantries.
Run the 5K, 10K or Fun Run (1/2 mile) in White Bear Lake to help them meet their goal of raising 10,000 lbs of food for the community this year.