Juneau charities missing crucial Thanksgiving ingredient

By November 21, 2013Community

Foodland IGA has sold more than 400 donation bags that go to the Southeast Alaska Food Bank. Friday is the last day to buy one at IGA. (Photo by Rosemarie Alexander/KTOO)

Thanksgiving is less than one week away and Juneau’s charity organizations still need turkeys and other donations.

The Glory Hole, St. Vincent de Paul, and The Salvation Army are relying on community generosity to fill Thanksgiving baskets and boxes, and feed the community.

St. Vincent de Paul is handing out 500 baskets starting Saturday, but still needs items to fill them up.

The organization started the program with 25 baskets. Ten years ago, when Louise Wertheimer began volunteering, they made 200 baskets.

“We didn’t realize that the need was so great in Juneau, and it just grew,” says Wertheimer. “We want to make sure that everyone who needs help, that needs assistance, that we’ve got the food and the turkey to help them, and that’s why we do 500 now.”

Juneau’s soup kitchen The Glory Hole is already giving out Thanksgiving boxes to more than 160 families, and will continue this weekend until Tuesday. Turkeys – large and small – are still needed.

Executive director Mariya Lovishchuk says, while Thanksgiving boxes are not an essential service, they really cheer people up, including Glory Hole patrons.

“It’s just really wonderful to see our patrons contributing to the community by assembling these boxes, by carrying them out, by putting them in people’s cars, by saying, ‘Have a Happy Thanksgiving,’ to people, and then people say, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,’ to them,” she describes.

The Salvation Army plans to feed up to 400 people at The Hangar on the Wharf on Thanksgiving Day. The free meal will be served from 11 to 2:30. Everyone is welcome.

“We’ve had the governor, we’ve had the mayor, we’ve had several legislative representatives. We have people who need a meal, we have people who are homeless, we have people who just simply don’t want to be alone and so they come down just to share a meal and have fellowship, we have people come in and just bring their families,” says coordinator Carol Pitts. “So it is open to anyone living in or visiting Juneau on Thanksgiving.”

Turkeys and other food items can be dropped off at:

  • St. Vincent de Paul
    8617 Teal Street (behind Nugget Mall)
  • The Glory Hole
    247 South Franklin Street
    7 am – 9:30 pm every day
  • The Salvation Army
    439 Willoughby Ave.
    8 am – 5 pm on Saturday
    9 am – 4 pm weekdays

The kitchen needs 45 turkeys for the community meal and Pitts hopes people taking advantage of turkey deals at local grocery stores will help meet the demand. “Sometimes people will already have their turkey but they’re still buying some groceries and so if they take the opportunity of getting that turkey and they don’t need it, then we certainly can use it,” she says.

Another way to help out during the holiday season is by buying a donation bag at a local grocery store. It’s a pre-filled bag of groceries that will go to Southeast Alaska Food Bank.

Safeway has been offering donation bags for three years. According to assistant store manager Matthew Cabrigas, the store usually sells about 400.

“It allows community involvement for the holiday season just to help people who aren’t able to fill their shelves with the necessary items, just for eating really,” says Cabrigas. Donations bags will be at Safeway until the end of the month.

Turkeys and other donations can be dropped off at St. Vincent de Paul, Glory Hole, and the Salvation Army.

Recent headlines