Hundreds of volunteers are teaming up to provide Thanksgiving meals to families in need on Saturday as part of the 18th Annual United Way Thanksgiving Project.
From veteran volunteers to the smallest of helping hands, it's a miraculous assembly line to serve turkey and all its fixings to as many families as they can.
The United Way and Catholic Charities are partnering with agencies in Boston and communities across the region to distribute 6,500 packages of Thanksgiving groceries to families in the greater Boston area.
The Thanksgiving bags from United Way will include: onions, potatoes, canned corn, canned green beans, cornbread mix, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and an aluminum turkey pan. Families will also receive either a turkey, or a grocery gift card in their bags to purchase a turkey, depending on which site they pick up their meals.
The meals are meant to help families get through the week without having to stretch their food budget.
More than 500 volunteers help organize and pack over 150,000 pounds of food into the 6,500 Thanksgiving meal packages, including volunteers from local corporations such as Bank of America, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ernst & Young, Gillette, and Sun Life.
It's a good deed and one that United Way and Boston Catholic Charities should be proud of. But the endless and crushing line of people hoping to get a Thanksgiving meal because they can't have one otherwise is the real story.
Sasia Damon said the hardest part isn't knowing where your next meal will come from, but it's mustering up the courage to take help.
She swallowed her pride on this one.
Damon works fulltime at the YMCA and is getting her masters in mental health, and still couldn't make ends meet.
"The fact that it's even still a struggle to afford food, that's a big problem," she said.
Receiving a Thanksgiving meal package is a huge weight off Damon's shoulders for at least this one day of the year, but she worries about the thousands of others in the line behind her at the Dorchester location, the largest distribution site.
In addition to Dorchester, this initiative is also taking place in Quincy, Lawrence, Haverhill, Lynn, Somerville, Lowell, Randolph, Weymouth, and the Boston neighborhoods of the South End and South Boston.
See detailed list of locations below:
Dorchester - Catholic Charities Yawkey Center, 185 Columbia Road, Dorchester 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Boston - Catholic Charities El Centro del Cardenal Food Pantry, Distribution at Cathedral High School, 74 Union Park Street, Boston, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
South Boston - Catholic Charities Laboure Center, 275 West Broadway, South Boston, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Lowell - Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities, 70 Lawrence Street, Lowell, 9:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Somerville - Catholic Charities Greater Boston, 270 Washington Street, Somerville, 9 a.m – 12 p.m.
Lawrence - Family Services of Merrimack Valley, 430 Canal Street Street, Lawrence, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, 305 Essex Street, Lawrence, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Haverhill - Liz Murphy Open Hand Pantry, 16 Ashland Street, Haverhill, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Lynn - Lynn Housing Authority, 10 Church Street, Lynn, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Weymouth - Weymouth Food Pantry, 1203 Commercial Street, Weymouth, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Quincy - Interfaith Social Services, 105 Adams Street, Quincy 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Randolph - Randolph High School, 70 Memorial Parkway, Randolph, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The Thanksgiving Project is made possible this year by support from Mass Convention Center Authority, Bank of America, UPS, Stop & Shop, Putnam Investments,Bain Capital, DDJ Capital Management, Federal Home Loan Bank, Falcon Investment Advisors, UberEats, and many more.