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BEAM seeks help filling Thanksgiving baskets for low-income families

·2 min read
BEAM volunteers organize donated items for its annual Thanksgiving basket program. The organization is seeking the community's help in filling 800 more baskets to distribute later this month.
BEAM volunteers organize donated items for its annual Thanksgiving basket program. The organization is seeking the community's help in filling 800 more baskets to distribute later this month.

The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM) is asking the community to help the organization make the holidays a little brighter for families living paycheck to paycheck.

BEAM volunteers and staff, in partnership with St. Vincent de Paul in Jacksonville Beach, are gearing up for the distribution of Thanksgiving meal kits to low-income families in need of extra support this holiday season. Last year, more than 1,100 non-perishable meal kits were distributed to families in need.

This year, BEAM has set a community goal to collect 800 Thanksgiving meal kits by Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Nearly 240,000 people living in Northeast Florida are food insecure, including approximately 76,000 children. That equates to one in five people. In 2020, the need for food assistance increased –– and an estimated 40 percent of those served early in the pandemic had never sought help before.

“The holidays can be particularly stressful for families living paycheck to paycheck and we want to ensure every Beaches family has a memorable holiday with their loved ones,” said BEAM Executive Director Lori Richards. “We are asking the community to help us reach our goal of donating 800 Thanksgiving meal kits this holiday season.”

BEAM volunteers organize donated items for its annual Thanksgiving basket program. The organization is seeking the community's help in filling 800 more baskets to distribute later this month.
BEAM volunteers organize donated items for its annual Thanksgiving basket program. The organization is seeking the community's help in filling 800 more baskets to distribute later this month.

The two agencies are asking the community to assist their efforts by donating Thanksgiving meal kits with nonperishable food items or sponsoring a basket. Only $50 supplies a family of four with a full Thanksgiving meal.

Non-perishable items for the Thanksgiving meal-kit include: instant mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, canned green beans, potatoes and carrots, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, cornbread mix, dessert mix and a $15 grocery store gift card for clients to purchase a turkey, ham, or other main course of their choice.

All information about the Thanksgiving meal kit distribution can be found on BEAM’s website and families within its service area who would like to receive a Thanksgiving meal kit can also do so by signing up online. Meal kits may be dropped off at St. Paul’s Father Murphy Hall on Nov. 15-17 and local families who signed up ahead of time can pick up their meal kit on Nov.18-20, 22 and 23 at Father Murphy Hall in Jacksonville Beach.

To sign up to receive a basket, sponsor a basket or donate nonperishable items, visit JaxBeam.org/Thanksgiving.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: BEAM seeks help filling Thanksgiving baskets for low-income families