Metro Weekly

Food and Friends is seeking volunteers to help deliver meals for Thanksgiving

More than 200 drivers will deliver prepared Thanksgiving meals to Food and Friends' clients suffering from serious illnesses.

A volunteer spoons out food for packaging and delivery. – Photo: Food & Friends.

Food & Friends, the D.C.-based nonprofit that provides home-delivered, specialized meals and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and other life-challenging illnesses, is seeking volunteers as it plans to prepare and deliver more than 4,000 Thanksgiving meals to its clients.

Volunteers will help prepare and pack meals at the organization’s Fort Totten headquarters, located at 219 Riggs Rd. NE, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, from Nov. 23-24, and starting at 6 a.m. on Nov. 25.

On Nov. 25, the day of the holiday, nearly 200 volunteer drivers will arrive at the Fort Totten Metro Station parking lot to pick up and deliver meals to clients throughout the D.C. region, from 6 a.m.-12 p.m. All deliveries will be contactless, in keeping with protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable populations with compromised immune systems.

Staff and volunteers plan to prepare approximately 8,520 pounds of turkey, 1,065 pounds of roasted potatoes,1,065 pounds of cornbread stuffing, 94 gallons of gravy, 76 gallons of butternut squash soup, 780 pounds of buttered corn, 780 pounds of braised collard greens, 650 pounds of cranberry sauce, 1,420 pieces of fresh fruit and 5,680 dinner rolls. Each Thanksgiving dinner prepared will feed five people.

“This year especially, everyone deserves a celebration,” Carrie Stoltzfus, the executive director of Food and Friends, said in a statement. “We were founded during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, so we were built to respond with compassion when people need it the most.

“The families we serve deal with serious health issues every day, but we can make Thanksgiving a much better holiday for them,” she added. “This is a proud community tradition, and we look forward to a strong response from our volunteers and supporters to fulfill our promise to our seriously ill neighbors.”

This year, Wegmans Food Markets is the premiere sponsor of Food & Friends’ Thanksgiving delivery efforts. 

“At Wegmans, we’re devoted to being a good neighbor in every community we serve. As we prepare to open two new stores in the D.C. metro area, we considered how we can give back to the local community,” Chris Holland, the community relations coordinator for Wegmans Food Markets, said in a statement. “One of our top priorities is helping to feed the hungry, so we’re proud to grow our partnership with Food & Friends this year to help provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need. Together, we can make our neighborhoods stronger.”

For more information, or to sign up as a volunteer with Food & Friends, visit the organization’s website at www.foodandfriends.org/events/thanksgiving-at-food-friends.

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