For many of us, Thanksgiving is a time of plenty, a chance to reflect on everything we have to be thankful for over a table piled high with food, surrounded by family and friends. But for some, this rather expensive time of year looks a little meager.
The Moorestown Home and School Association currently seeks community support for its annual turkey drive to benefit those forced to go without this Thanksgiving. The association will accept donations of frozen turkeys and fresh pies for the drive, scheduled for Nov. 25.
Despite the perception of Moorestown as a relatively affluent neighborhood, drive Chairperson Renita Brady notes that status is not representative of the township’s entire population.
“Moorestown is looked at as a township that has plenty and that’s not always the case,” she said. “We want to make sure that everybody has a happy holiday, and this is one way that we try to accomplish that.”
The program is held in conjunction with several canned and pantry food drives in schools throughout the area. Between those drives and the anticipated donations of turkeys and pies, Brady hopes the association can provide full Thanksgiving meals for needy families.
“It’s one less thing that they have to worry about in a season where you are looking at so many other things that you have to get together or be able to provide,” Brady said.
Drop-off times and locations for the Nov. 25 drive are as follows:
The Stanwick Road parking lot at Moorestown High School, 7 to 8 a.m.; William Allen Middle School building front, 7 to 8:30 a.m.; behind the building at Upper Elementary School, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m.; South Valley Elementary School car line drop-off area, 10 to 11:30 a.m.; Mary E. Roberts Elementary School blacktop, 10 to 11:30 a.m.; Maple Dawson Park across from George C. Baker Elementary School, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
According to Brady, families within the school district are the first-priority recipients of donations, but she noted that in past years enough food has been collected to make additional donations to local social service agencies such as MEND, Inc. and Twin Oaks.
Donations are anonymous out of respect to families receiving help.
“It’s often stigmatized,” Brady said of the drive. “People don’t want to ask for help, or they’re embarrassed because it’s not something people want to talk about. The way the turkey drive is established it’s very much respecting that fact and its not looking any which way other than to make sure everyone has a happy holiday.”
For a link to the SignUp Genius page for the turkey and pie drive, visit the Upper Elementary website at ues.mtps.com.